Ways to eliminate grasshoppers

cymraes(8)January 1, 2007

I'm thinking ahead to this summer, and would like ideas to get rid of grasshoppers without using chemicals. We just built our home in the country, and last year the grasshoppers were eating everything; they even stripped our alfalfa field. I want to have a large vegetable and flower garden, but won't be able to if we have grasshoppers like last year. Has anyone had success with ducks or chickens eating enough of them?

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southerngurl(6 Ark)

Chickens or ducks will completely eradicate the grasshoppers, as well as ticks. The only problem you may run into, is that they like their greens too. Ducks would be less likely to attack your fruits and veggies, as they don't scratch around like chickens, and they don't have sharp beaks to break into veggies and fruits. Also, waiting until your plants have some size to them, will keep them from eating them as seedlings, or just plain stomping them when the plants are young and fragile.

Either are great entertainment to watch trying to catch insects, especially when they get after a june bug. :D

    Bookmark   January 1, 2007 at 9:05PM
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southerngurl(6 Ark)

Wanted to add, runner ducks might be a good choice, either way, you probably don't want any heavy meat ducks, as they will be fat and won't travel as broadly in your fields. Mallards or runners would be good choices. The mallards will be able to fly, which is always neat. The runners are quite comical in their looks, they are like bowling pins with heads.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2007 at 9:08PM
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hoorayfororganic

Neem oil

Here is a link that might be useful: Neem oil on grashoppers

    Bookmark   January 1, 2007 at 9:33PM
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justaguy2(5)

hooray, you link was to a global warming article, not a neem oil article.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2007 at 10:39PM
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cymraes(8)

Southerngurl, thanks for your reply. About how many ducks do you think I would need? We have 85 acres, but my goal would be to keep my garden and flower area free of grasshoppers. I had ducks as a kid on the farm, but can't remember if cats generally bother ducks? We have several lazy barn cats, so I doubt if they would bother them, but just wondering!

    Bookmark   January 1, 2007 at 10:48PM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

One control method not commonly used, yet, is "Nosema locustae" a protazoa that only affects grasshoppers and crickets. It is available in bran flakes that is spread around for them to eat, if they wish. This is a passive control and therefore not favored by those that have a great need for something more active.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2007 at 6:57AM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Ahahahahahaha! Yeah, a cat will bother a duck...once! If the cat wasn't more maneuverable than the duck the duck would eat the cat. Geese are more aggressive (and painful), but geese won't eat bugs, so you don't want them.

Anything you can do to attract birds to your area will help. Full service would include...
Birdbaths
Bird feeders
Bird houses

Chickens and ducks are a great idea because you get the eggs, too. And the orange yolked eggs from meat eating critters are MUCH more tasty than yellow yolked eggs from corn fed critters. Wild birds are easier to handle, however.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2007 at 12:08PM
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cymraes(8)

Okay...so my cats won't bother the ducks! One less thing to worry about! So, we do have quail, partridge a few wild turkeys, etc. that I have been feeding this winter. Will they help any with the grasshoppers? We are also planning to put up bird feeders, waterers, etc. as soon as we can. Thanks for the info.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2007 at 12:33PM
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songbirdmommy(UT 5)

Guineas are the way to go!
Chicks and ducks forage on bugs, grass and plants... if you let them, they can ruin a nice yard.
I have a nice yard and chickens ONLY because I let the free range in areas that I want them to go, not all over.
I also have had guineas in the past and they are the worlds best bug eaters!
They LOVE bugs and prefer them to anything else.
They are strange looking, and for the most part leave the lawn and garden alone.... although they will eat seedlings....
I am going to get a bunch of baby guineas the first week in June from Murray McMurray if anyone would like some, and can pick them up from the Salt Lake City, Utah area, let me know.
I am taking orders now.
I think they will be about $5.00 each.
Cheaper and better than a can of ant spray!
Did I mention colorful too?
The ones I am going to get will be Purple and the others will be Coral Blue.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2007 at 12:53PM
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cymraes(8)

Songbirdmommy - Are guineas noisy? I remember my grandma used to have guineas and I thought they made a lot of noise. Do they also need trees to roost in?

    Bookmark   January 5, 2007 at 1:04PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Guineas are noisy little things, yes. And they do need something to roost in. You'd need to protect them from the elements in your area. I had some friends who had several...they were trained to enter a large dog kennel every night, but they also had plenty of trees around to provide shade and cover. Kind of important if you're going to think about raising fowl of any kind.

I loved the guineas!

    Bookmark   January 11, 2007 at 12:38PM
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catherine_nm

A chicken/duck/guinea moat around the vegetable garden. That is, fence the garden, then put another fence outside of that fence (I would also put netting over the gap to keep the chickens/ducks/guineas in and owls/ravens/hawks out). Give them the run of the vegetable/flower garden before planting to clear out the bugs, then keep them in the "moat" the rest of the time to keep the grasshoppers from crossing into the protected area.

No, I don't do this. My chickens have the run of most of my yard, and the vegetables are covered with row covers in a fenced (but not chicken-proof) veggie area.

Catherine

Here is a link that might be useful: Chicken Moat

    Bookmark   January 12, 2007 at 5:39PM
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prairiepaintbrush(RedOak, TX z7/8)

I've always been intimidated of getting any kind of fowl because I don't know how to care for them and they tend to attract coyotes. I have found that spraying a kaolin product on the veggie garden (and fruit trees) is very effective against most insects. Everything is sort of a ghostly white, but it works.

I have tried Nosema locustae in pretty large quantities and found it to be of limited effectiveness. Grasshoppers can just get too numerous and they travel long and wide.

Here is a link that might be useful: kaolin stuff

    Bookmark   January 14, 2007 at 2:46AM
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cfmuehling(7b DC/MD burbs)

My husband wants chicknes, too. We had a neighbor's rooster we named Buster and his mate, Jane, who lived in our yard for 5 years. Jane lay eggs under my giant hasta. Buster had just been begining to come to my husband to eat out of his hand when Jane, then he disappeared.

It broke both of our hearts, since we're not able to de-person our animals. He wants some of our own, but we have fox and all kinds of things that eat chickens in our area.

I think grasshoppers around here might eat chickens in this area.

C.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2007 at 11:58AM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

A lot of suggestions that chickens, ducks, guinea (pea) hens but what does the ordinance where you live allow? Around here you must have a minimum of 3 acres to house any "farm" animal (defined in the ordinance) legally.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 7:21AM
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cymraes(8)

Thanks for all the ideas. I'm still not sure what we'll do, but I am leaning towards ducks and some of the barrier methods. Ordinances are not a problem; we live on a 85 acre farm and have horses also.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 11:27AM
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seamommy(7bTX)

If you are going to erect barriers anyway, you might as well get a few chickens. They are good at keeping the bugs at bay and in my experience, they are a lot less messy than ducks.

Chicken poo from healthy chickens dries and hardens into neat little blobs in about a day. You can pick them up intact and throw them at your neighbors poodle.

Duck doo is like a large black slimey loogie that stays loogie-like for days, smells remarkable, and seems to spread out towards all the other duck loogies in the vicinity to form a loogie lake.

OK, it may not be quite that bad but, deer flies are especially fond of duck doo on those warm summer days and I sure didn't enjoy having ducks. I was forced to find them a new home after a short visit to my yard.

I have to admit though, that they all have personalities and it's really hard not to become attached to them as you raise them and watch them mature. And I liked my ducks, but there was just no safe place to walk between the loogie lakes in and around the coop when I went out there.

I now have a large pen about 250' from the house, with just chickens. When we want them to do a bug round-up we let them out and lure them down to the fenced garden area.
Cheryl

    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 8:11PM
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naplesgardener

Catherine
Thanks for the Chicken moat link. That's the coolest thing. Makes me wish I had room to build one (would love chickens or guineas) but then the neighbors, the homeowners ass'n, the county would all be on me like a duck on a june bug.
I agree that ducks are very messy in the poop department. They live in our community pond and feeding them is discouraged. They reward feeders by pooping on their walkways and steps.
I have seen them searching for bugs in my lawn however. I've made the lawn service quit putting any chemicals on my lawn and they like it here (the ducks) which is fine with me as long as they move along after eating.
They don't go in my neighbors after bugs, makes me think the chemicals kill bugs or discourage ducks. I'd rather have a few bugs than chemicals.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 11:18AM
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hoorayfororganic

wouldn't the chickens peck away your garden, though?

    Bookmark   January 18, 2007 at 3:16PM
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milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)

Nothing beats turkeys for getting rid of grasshoppers. They don't seem to eat the garden either, and a cat won't bother a turkey cause the turkey wouldn't put up with it.

We sold some turkeys to a farmer when I was young for grasshopper control. He called back and wanted more because the ones he got had such full craws they couldn't' even move!

    Bookmark   January 12, 2009 at 12:15PM
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organicguy(7)

I'll add my 2-cents, which is pretty much like what everyone else said. When I had my farm, chickens and turkeys took good care of the "hoppers', and neither ever did much harm to my plants. They much prefer the grasshoppers to veggies. Not only do you turn the bugs into eggs or meat, but you get additional manure deposited rigth where you need it.

Ron
The Garden Guy
http://www/TheGardenGuy.org
** New Article: "Growing Potatoes Under Hay"

    Bookmark   January 12, 2009 at 2:16PM
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justaguy2(5)

Just eat the darn things. they actually taste halfway good roasted over a fire. Don't view them as a pest, view them as an added source of protein.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2009 at 10:00PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Well, that was a conversation stopper!

Can you shish kabob them with onions, peppers, crickets, and cockroaches? Maybe a little barbecue sauce??

    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 4:38PM
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dutchess_9(8b)

Chickens....oh how I want chickens...we are going to build an open chicken coop this spring. I plan to get 3 Buff orvingtons (please excuse my spelling). They are supposed to be quite nice. I think I will put up barriers (some sort of netting)around my raised beds and let than have at it in the rest of the garden. The entire garden is 75x25 feet and is enclosed with a short fence (to keep my dog out).

I'm not kidding when I say I had a 3-4 inch grasshopper in my yard this year...It was repulsive. I thought to myself...these things shouldn't be this BIG! I thought this was fluke until I saw two more!

Sorry for the rambling!

Here is a link that might be useful: How my garden grows!

    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 4:42PM
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