Grasshoppers.... ugh

thirsty_dirt_77(3a)July 4, 2013

How the past two weeks have transformed my vegetable garden is amazing! I think I've gone from being a few weeks behind to being "normal" and even ahead on some vegetables. Thank goodness!

Unfortunately this weather is also causing me problems. We seem to be on the verge of a grasshopper infestation. They are still quite small, about 1/2" to 3/4" in size, but there numbers are unreal... and I'm already having flash backs from a few years ago where they stripped almost all the leaves off some potato plants.

We have a plastic mesh net like fence (3/4" hole size) around the garden (7 ft high to keep the deer out) and this seems to help a bit and the hoppers tend to only hang out around the edges.

Anybody have any recommendations on how to limit the damage these pesters will cause?

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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

Drag a lawn roller around a few times a day. Few survive the wrath!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2013 at 3:41PM
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bdgardener(3 AB)

Chickens!!!!! C

    Bookmark   July 4, 2013 at 9:51PM
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CLBlakey

I have only seen one so far. I guess we are still to wet for them. Sounds like a contest between chickens and roller maybe I could get a friend to lend a bearded dragon into the mix and it would be a full fledged contest.

On a more serious note I hope they don't eat too much of your garden.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2013 at 1:11AM
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beegood_gw

Non up here so far. Was in Saskatchewan during a massive outbreak and it was not fun but I still would rather have the Hoppers than those gawdawful squishy tent caterpillars. And I think next year they will arrive. YUCK!!!.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2013 at 11:16AM
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thirsty_dirt_77(3a)

A roller or chickens... what about a rolling chicken?? ha ha

My husband liked the idea of a roller and we have a friend who basically lives around the corner who has one we can borrow... might need to try it. I might need to be on the tractor 24/7 to make a significant difference though - my garden is about 20 feet away from a 40 acre uncut clover/hay field!)

We've talked about chickens before but I fear we'd need a herd of them and that would just be for the ants! Plus the fox and coyotes would love them to once they are discovered! (our acreage borders the undeveloped Wapiti River Corridor)

Any thoughts on dusting the plants with DE or spraying the garden perimeter with malathion?

    Bookmark   July 5, 2013 at 12:06PM
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CLBlakey

Giant field of clover you must get great pollination from bees.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2013 at 12:41PM
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thirsty_dirt_77(3a)

Pollination has never been an issue for me (knock on wood). We also have a row of raspberries that is about 40 feet long that border the west edge of the garden - we actually fence them in too to keep the deer out.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2013 at 12:49PM
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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

I actually was serious on the lawn roller. About 4 years ago we had them by the thousands when normally there is none. At the time I only had flowers in containers but they were starting to find them. They would swarm up every morning and evening and head to or from, I guess, the bedding area. At this time I would walk with the roller smashing them into the ground. Thankfully it was very hot then because for an hour or so it was pretty gross and slippery on the spots without grass....

It is also almost fun as you can here them "pop".....

I can't help with the DE or malathion much but would imagine the malathion would be quite effective in the evening when the good bugs went to sleep.

Good luck

    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 11:07AM
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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

Since neem oil came up recently I wonder if that wouldn't help you out? I read so many good things about this stuff.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 12:00PM
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thirsty_dirt_77(3a)

Heres a photo taken Sunday night of the hoppers sunning themselves in the evening. They don't seem to be doing too much damage... yet. (famous last words).

After we saw this we sprayed the sunflowers and around the garden with Malathion. We didn't spray the potatoes because my husband wasn't sure about his mix concentration. Its seems to have helped because last night there were very few around in the evening. Its supposed to rain (again) for a few days so after it dries out a bit I'm going to spray the potatoes with a neem oil mix.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 12:25PM
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thirsty_dirt_77(3a)

More hoppers on the sunflowers...

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 12:26PM
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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

Wow that is a lot of hoppers. Ever think of catching them and selling for fishing bait or reptile/fish food? You might be sitting on a gold mine. I know that market is hopping!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 3:04PM
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nutsaboutflowers(2b/3a)

Eeewwww ! That's disgusting.

I haven't seen that many grasshoppers since I was a kid.....

I feel bad for you and your garden.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 11:49PM
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northernmn(3/4)

Permethrin sprayed around your garden will work. It is much more effective and safer than malathion in my opinion. Don't spray it around any blossoms though as it will kill bees. It is available @ Amazon.com and you can read lots of reviews on it there as well.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 8:26AM
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