GRASSHOPPER & CRICKET CONTROLGrasshoppers are large (up to 2-1/2 inches long), light green or brown insects with large hind legs that promote huge jumping distances. Hundreds of different species exist throughout the United States, but only a few damage garden plants. Grasshoppers are not a serious pest every year and are more of a seasonal pest when the environmental conditions permit it.
They are found primarily in areas that receive only 10 to 30 inches of rain annually. When winter temperatures are mild and other conditions are optimum, grasshopper populations increase to tremendous numbers and food for them becomes scarce. Under these conditions, many types of grasshoppers become nonselective in their food preference. Millions of migratory grasshoppers have been known to form swarms hundreds of miles across, devouring everything in their path. When the infestation is this bad, grasshoppers pollute water, invade homes, destroy fabrics, and become a hazard to motorists.
HOST PLANTS: Under the right conditions, the grasshopper will feed on any green foliage when food sources are scarce.
SYMPTOMS: Since adult grasshoppers will feed on a variety of vegetative plants, including grasses and weeds, the symptoms of grasshopper damage can be widespread and diverse.Their preferences include beans, sweet corn, lettuce and carrots, so when leaves of these plants appear chewed and you notice a grasshopper or two nearby, there is a very good chance that the grasshoppers are the culprits.
They make holes in the tissue of the plant as well as the leaves. You may also notice the grasshoppers' dark droppings on the plant leaves.Fruits may look as if they are not developing correctly.
GRASSHOPPER/CRICKET CONTROL: Handpicking eliminates small populations of grasshoppers. In order to minimize damage, apply controls while the grasshoppers or crickets are still young. As they mature, they require larger quantities of food. They will migrate to find food, usually from mature or drying crops and weeds to a garden with lush foliage.
When handpicking is not sufficient, grasshoppers can be controlled with organic Nosema locustae spore-based grasshopper baits.