How to Stop Grasshoppers and Katydids from Eating Plants?

How to Stop Grasshoppers and Katydids

Grasshoppers and katydids can be the worst nightmare of a gardener in high numbers, especially in rural areas.

Though high infestation may be tough to remove, their population and damage can be vehemently lessened with a cautious selection of plants, right inclusion of predators, and effective use of organic insecticides.

However, in order to control the katydids and grasshoppers, you should first know about the prevention methods.

Also, it’s essential to gain a better knowledge of how these insects feed and reproduce to get multiplied soon.

Where Does Grasshoppers Lay?

Grasshoppers usually lay their eggs (in pod-like structures) during winters.

They keep the eggs safe by laying them inside the soil, where they hatch them in springs.

Once the eggs hatch, they start feeding on grasses and broadleaf veggies.

Gardens that are well-watered and has a plethora of vegetation are a favorite habitat for grasshoppers and katydids.

They like to stay there as long as the food supply is available.

One of the best ways to avoid this is to make the area less favourable to grasshoppers which makes living difficult for them.

How to Kill Grasshoppers in the Garden Naturally?

Though not as damaging as locusts, grasshoppers in huge numbers can damage your garden vegetation and prove to be a huge threat to those living off the grid.

The highest health hazards come from the after-effects of a grasshopper visit.

As they like foliage, they can damage your vegetation and kill your crops slowly and steadily.

Fortunately, variety of different natural remedies are available that are extremely effective.

Some of them you can try include:

1- Neem oil

Extract of the neem tree has natural disinfectant properties which permit it to be used in several home products such as toothpaste.

Just like chemical insecticides, neem oil works incredibly well against grasshopper nymphs and also shows great results on adults by killing them.

2- Boric Acid

Boric acid is an age-old remedy that works amazingly well against grasshoppers just like it does to any other pest.

Sprinkle it along the edges of your walls and on plants inside the house.

The acid will lacerate the legs of the grasshopper and other bugs as they get in contact with it.

Plus, it is extremely poisonous and kills the insects as soon as they consume it.

What’s great is that it is usually safe for household use, however, make sure you keep it out of the reach of your kids and pets.

3- Natural Insecticides

Using chemicals to eradicate grasshoppers can be dicey as they get resistant to pesticides with time.

However, insecticides with permethrin or acephate carbaryl are extremely effective.

An environmentally friendly insecticide, Ecobran grasshopper killer is also a good option you can try.

It makes use of carbaryl in a unique mix that is only meant to harm orthoptera insects and not birds or favorable insects.

This property makes them a great friend for gardeners.

4- Tilling the Ground

Females generally lay their clutch of eggs beneath the soil surface where they won’t get disturbed.

If you till your garden around September, they will leave your yard instantly and go somewhere else to look for their nesting ground.

An additional benefit of turning grass and tilling your ground cover to compost is it makes your garden soil enriched for next year’s vegetation growth.

5- All-Purpose Wheat Flour

An uncommon but efficient solution is all-purpose flour.

It gets sticky when grasshoppers eat it and causes their mouth to stick up to starve for the critters.

All you need to do is sprinkle some of it in thin layers on the plant leaves, and ensure it is not any other kind of flour.

Some flour contains salt which can damage the plants so make sure you use only all-purpose flour for this purpose.

6- Hot Pepper Spray

Grasshoppers and katydids hate hot peppers and garlic.

You can make a spray using these kitchen products to spray on the plants leaves.

This will make them uneatable to grasshoppers.

However, it has a side effect that your tomatoes could get a lot spicier if you don’t wash it nicely.

Garlic spray is a great natural grasshopper repelling spray and can be preferred if you want to consume some of the plant parts later.

7- Get Some Frogs

If you own a pond in your yard, then get some frogs or toads.

These amphibians like to eat insects and work as a great defence against all types of harmful bugs including grasshoppers and katydid bugs.

Just ensure that you don’t want to remove frogs later.

If you don’t like frogs, then lizards are also an option for you as they like to treat on grasshoppers a lot.

8- Bird or Chickens

There are several species of birds which prey on insects.

Some of them regard grasshoppers and katydids as a treat.

You can just set up some bird feeders to attract them and they will love to eat these pests as their dessert.

A specific species of bird which you may have not thought of is the chicken.

In many towns, cities and rural areas people keep chickens as a pet.

Unbelievable but true, they are very good pets and can eat any insect they can search for.

An additional bonus is that a fertile hen can even give you some eggs daily for your breakfast.

9- Pathogenic Fungus

Although not very safe, fungi that are pathogenic to grasshoppers can help to kill them for sure.

Entomophthora Grylli, for example, is highly dangerous for grasshoppers.

Once infected, it paralyzes a grasshopper, by holding them to plants without any escape.

As fungus starts to multiply, they eat the grasshopper making it die in an awkward posture.

However, since the fungi flourish in hot and moist weather, it may not be very effective in northern regions.

Plus, you cannot get this fungus commercially.

Nosema locustae is another great alternative if you cannot find Entomophthora Grylli.

You can find this fungus available in stores, especially in bran-based items like Semaspore, Nolo Bait, and Grasshopper Attack.

Though it may not be able to kill adult grasshoppers, it hampers their fertility and is much more effective in killing grasshopper nymphs.

You can apply it during mid-summer. It will work as a long-term solution, but will not be helpful in getting rid of the present year’s infestation.

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