Hi I’m Tricia an organic gardener. I grow
organically for healthy and safe food supply, for
clean and sustainable environment, for an enjoyable and rewarding
experience. Summer can be full of fun and friends
but it can also be invasion season. Grasshoppers are rarely a problem in
orchards and gardens however when they come it can be
disastrous. Most of the time, grasshoppers stay in
undeveloped land and range land and they don’t cause much of a problem. But if there’s a wet spring, it favors
their populations and they can descend and destroy a
garden. If you see chewed leaves, don’t immediately assume it’s
grasshoppers. Other critters such as June beetle, snails, earwigs and caterpillar’s
cause similar damage and are controlled differently. If you
suspect that grasshoppers are doing the damage,
wait until you see them and you can see them by disturbing area
by either walking mowing or weed eating. If there’s not a huge infestation you
can control them by either hand picking or covering the crop with an Agribon
type of row cover. If grasshopper pressures are heavy
enough they will chew through row covers so you need to use metal window screens
in that case. It’s best to control grasshoppers sooner rather than later. Adult grasshoppers are very resistant to
controls. Grasshoppers hatch in undeveloped
grasslands like this and then the nymphs move as they eat all the vegetation that they can. To
prevent grasshoppers from going from the grassland into your orchard or garden, plant a hedge
row. Our Good Bug Blend seed mix or our hedgerow mix are too great seed
mixes to use for your hedgerow. Keep your hedgerow lush and green so
that the grasshoppers will stop there Instead of going into your orchard and
that’ll be attracting the beneficial insects who find the
grasshoppers very tasty. You can also bait your hedgerow with
products like this Nolo Bait which is a parasitic protozoa that kills
the grasshopper from the inside out. Other grasshoppers will eat the dead infected grasshoppers and become
infected themselves so the protozoa will spread and control
the populations. Most insecticides, even organic ones that
are labeled to control grasshoppers, can be toxic to beneficial insects so
please use them only as a last resort. One insecticide that’s labeled for
grasshoppers but has a limited bad effect on benneficials and pollinators is this Safer insecticidal soap. early
control is key. Don’t let the grasshoppers devastate
your garden. Get started on controlling them before the damage happens; AND, grow
organic for life!