Early grasshoppers eating my peppers. Any Ideas?

canyoncrawlerMay 14, 2009

I plowed in march and i guess the grasshoppers laid many eggs in my garden. The tiny 1/2 to 1 inch buggers are eating my peppers to the point where they have reached a growth plateau and are starting to yellow...meanwhile my tomatoes, which are in the same bed are 1-1.5 ft tall compared to the sickly 4-6 inch ravaged peppers. They also like my sweet potatoes.

I have tried in order:

compost tea

Garlic oil/fish emulsion spray

Molasses pits

garlic/cayenne/fish emulsion spray with Dr. Bronners peppermint soap

Insecticidal soap

Combo of these in succession

Planting a row ow lowe's damaged "50 cent special"rootbound geraniums at the perimeter of the garden to try to lure the grasshoppers in.

What should i do? This has slowed the attack, but still they come. My wife and I handpick my entire garden 1-3 times a day and this rustling of the foliage has made my tomatoes quite stocky!

I dont wanna use neem yet, and i recall it not working for hoppers last year. But I didnt have such an early problem then. It was more of a problem later in the summer.

What i have is actually neem/pyrethrins/roetenone mix that i reserve for some fruit trees, because my other neem oil may be bad, since it is about 8 years old.

I would appreciate ANYTHING that i could use before neem, but i am out of ideas.


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If the predatory insects (Blister Beetle larva, ground beetles, birds, parasitic nematodes) are not helping maybe a protazoan disease, "Nosema locustae" might be something to use before spraying such broad spectrum pesticides.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 6:56AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

You might want to look into one of the Spinosad products. When applied properly, it has little effect on non-target insects and arachnids, even if the product comes into contact with them. Spinosad had shown to be quite helpful in the fight against grasshopper nymphs, much more so than the adults.

Spinosad, a biological agent, needs to be ingested for it to be effective. Use it to cover the foliage, not the flowers.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 10:09AM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Bird bath, bird house, bird feeder.

Bring in some ducks or chickens and you can have excellent eggs.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2009 at 12:02AM
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Spinosad is highly toxic to bees so its use should be only as a last resort and then only appled with due care.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2009 at 6:46AM
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mowermaid47(8A-N Central TX)

du_chall's idea is great--when I had hoppers taking over, I made a de solution & sprayed everything. It wasn't pretty, because everything had a grey film on it, but the hoppers checked out of the buffet. I did put up lots of birdhouses this year, birdbaths & feeders. I also got chickens. So far, so good. I haven't had to use the de. Good luck!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2009 at 11:42AM
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Hoop supported fabric row covers might work for you. Make sure you hand pick as many bugs as possible then put the row covers on to exclude the bugs.


    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 10:14PM
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Tabasco sauce ,a few drops in a 500ml spray bottle of water spray the veggies fruit trees pot plants ferns . The hoppers and moths take off like a jet .it works for us in cairns

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 6:33AM
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