By Kimberley McGee Updated November 11, 2019
They may seem small and innocuous, but when grasshoppers begin to pop up in your garden, they can cause damage if left to run rampant. They are voracious feeders and can gobble up one-half of their body weight in a single day.
The adults as well as the nymphs can chomp the leaves and stems of plants in the garden if not controlled. There are many ways to take down a grasshopper population that has found a comfy home in your outdoor living spaces, most of which use affordable and common household items.
Grasshoppers in the Garden
The brightly colored insects don’t have much in the way of benefits for gardeners, but there are a few interesting facts about the popular insects that can help you determine which process you want to use to remove them, if at all.
They won’t cause much damage in small numbers and tend to move along. Till the garden soil in September to make the soil less hospitable for females to lay their eggs.
Grasshoppers don’t bite people. As a defense mechanism to deter predators, grasshoppers may throw up the content of their stomachs to fool the hunter that the prey is sick or diseased.
Get Rid of Grasshoppers
There are a few eco-friendly ways to eradicate grasshoppers from the vegetable garden or flower bed.
- You can sprinkle all-purpose flour in a fine layer over the tops of plants. The flour will cascade down the plant, leaving a dusty layer that will create a sticky gum in their mouths, and the grasshoppers will starve to death.
- Frogs snap up nymphs before they can grow into a problem, as do lizards.
- A mix of 1 cup of red pepper flakes boiled in 2 pints of water will deter the grasshoppers and also keep chipmunks and birds from going after the tender stalks of the vegetable plants and buds of fruit trees.
- Neem oil is a natural insecticide that can be found in most big box home improvement stores or bought online. The natural plant extract is also found in toothpaste.
- Boric acid sprinkled along the garden wall edges works well to get rid of grasshoppers as well as many other garden pests, including ants and aphids. It is effective in warding off adults and lacerates the spindly legs of other insects as well. While it is generally safe, be careful when using it around kids and pets.
Garlic to Get Rid of Grasshoppers
To get rid of grasshoppers, as well as other common garden pests, apply a good dose of strong garlic. Making a spray is the best way to apply the mix to the plants without damaging the vegetable plants or flower buds. These organic sprays will sit in a cool, dark and dry place for up to two weeks.
You can crush 6 cloves of garlic and let it sit in 1/2 cup of mineral oil overnight. Add 5 cups of water to the mixture and strain it into a spray bottle for a strong spray. The oil will suffocate tiny bugs such as aphids and affect the grasshoppers in much the same way as they move from plant to plant.
A spray made of 10 cups of water and two bulbs of garlic, crushed to release the oils, will be enough to take out hopping critters as well. Mix the two ingredients and bring to a boil. Allow this to sit all night before pouring into a spray bottle. [external_footer]