4 Effective Ways to Get Rid of Grasshoppers in the Garden
Here is a quick summary of ways to get rid of grasshoppers in the garden.
- Buy Grasshopper bait
- Make and use a garlic spray
- Plant natural grasshopper repellants like cilantro
- Dust the affected crops with ordinary all-purpose flour
At first, grasshoppers may appear as harmless creatures until you realize how much damage they are doing to your garden crop. Did you know that a grasshopper can eat about half of its body weight in plants per day? If you are having issues with grasshoppers in your garden then test out these strategies to get rid of them as soon as possible. Ideally, you want to avoid the use of pesticide, especially if are growing consumable crops like fruits and vegetables.
1. Buy Grasshopper Baits
From our personal experience, we found it to be pretty effective to use grasshopper baits like Semaspore to get rid of grasshoppers and locusts. Keep in mind, however, that these grasshopper baits aren’t short-term solutions. It will take multiple applications of grasshopper baits to reduce the pest population to a reasonable level. These baits work by passing on a disease from one grasshopper to another. In general, it is more effective at getting rid of younger grasshoppers than older ones. Hence, if you have are just starting to experience a grasshopper infestation then get going and spread the bait around the affected area.
If you want to try some home remedies first then check out some of the methods below.
2. Use a Garlic Spray
One thing that grasshoppers do not like is the smell and taste of garlic. Applying a bit of garlic solution to your garden won’t kill the grasshoppers but it could do enough to keep them away. Gardeners can create the garlic spray in a number of ways. One way would be to crush the garlic and mix it with water or mineral oil.
To make sure the solution is highly-concentrated, you should be looking to crush about two bulbs of garlic and having that mixed with about a half a cup of water. Once the garlic is mixed together with the water or mineral oil, give it about 24 hours before you pour the solution into a spray bottle. Don’t have the time to create your own garlic spray? There are plenty of effective ones you can purchase online for a reasonable price, such as this repellent from garlic research labs.
3. Use Other Natural Repellents
Garlic is not the only thing that grasshoppers hate when it comes to smell and taste. Consider other natural alternatives such as cilantro, peas and sweet clover. Instead of applying them as spray, you might want to even consider growing these plants as barriers around your valuable gardening crops. Depending on the severity of the grasshopper infestation, the width of the barrier you create with these plants and herbs may have to from a centimeters to a few inches thick, and would also need to be placed across the whole garden to leave no wiggle room for the grasshoppers.
4. Dust the plants with flour
Flour gums up and blocks the grasshopper’s mouth, which prevents it from eating. As we mentioned before, grasshoppers eat almost of its body weight per day so imagine the devastating effect flour can have on the grasshopper population. One note of caution. When you use this method, make sure you are only using ordinary all-purpose flour. There are certain types of flour, such as self-rising flour, which contain salts that could ruin plants in the garden.
Hopefully, you would have had some success with reducing the grasshopper population by applying one of the methods stated above. One additional thing that would always help would be to simply understand the behaviors of grasshoppers. For example, if these grasshoppers didn’t exist in the past but only started to become a problem in recent weeks then a change in your garden may have caused the grasshopper population to increase to an unsustainable level. With that, here are some interesting facts one should know about.
Common Habitats for Grasshoppers
In general, grasshoppers tend to be found in dry open areas with low a lot of low plants like grass. The low, open space makes it more effective for the grasshoppers to use their long wings. So what about habitats that grasshoppers hate? Those can be classified into two types. The first type would be dense forests, and the second type would be swamp areas. Grasshoppers can’t live in these environments as there aren’t a lot of low plants to feed on.
If you want to get rid of them then it obviously helps to know what the grasshopper’s favorite food is. As we established earlier, grasshoppers mostly live in low, open spaces. Hence, their favorite food consists of plants that thrive in those environments like grass, leaves, and cereal crops. Other favorites include crops like corn, wheat, alfalfa, and barley.
Grasshopper Pest FAQ
1. What’s the difference between a grasshopper and a locust?
Grasshoppers and pests are very similar in appearance and can also be equal in terms of the damage they can do to vegetable gardens. The main difference between the two is the fact that locusts can fly. There is also a difference in terms of behavior with the locust being able to behave in two different states. For example, it can behave as individuals when the surrounding locust population is low, or it can behave gregariously when the surrounding population density of locusts is high. Grasshoppers, on the other hand, cannot act in these two different states.
2. What can I do if the grasshoppers are infesting the strawberry plants?
Obviously, the most important thing is to keep to organic control methods as the strawberries are most likely grown to be consumed. Other than some of the natural methods we have stated above, strawberry gardeners who are having issues with grasshoppers or locusts may also want to try natural methods like spraying the plant with a hot sauce solution. The grasshoppers won’t eat the actual fruit but the damage to the foliage would be enough to stunt the growth of the actual strawberries. Take action before it’s too late.