Florida grasshoppers

shear_stupidity(9B)February 12, 2013

Any suggestions for dealing with these things? Does anything keep them away, or do you really have to chase after them one at a time?
Last year, they devoured my Shell Ginger, Coleus, and Cleome. What else do they "love"? Cuz I just won't plant that.
Should I be expecting them to go after veggies, too? Which ones?

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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

Before my ducks 10,000,000 grass hoppers......since the ducks none. It is amusing watching the ducks chase them then crunch crunch crunch. The ducks won't eat the full grown lubbers but the rest are devoured.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 8:21AM
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shear_stupidity(9B)

My city won't allow it. We do have some wild ducks around here, though. They aren't eating NEARLY enough! LOL!

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 8:23AM
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carolb_w_fl(zone 9/10)

I smash 'em underfoot ruthlessly. Somebody else here uses pruning shears to cut 'em in half. They are more sluggish early & late in the day.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 10:16AM
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meg_w

They also love amaryllis and crinum lily. Ate mine down into the ground, even devouring the bulbs. I have not found anything to keep them away. :( I just sweep them by the handfulls into a big bucket of soapy water.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 11:42AM
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Michael AKA Leekle2ManE - Zone 9a - Lady Lake, F

I have not had much of an issue with lubbers myself. I have done my homework on them though. Supposedly there are some insecticides that will work on the young, but you have to get them early. As they mature they develop immunities to almost all insecticides. The only sure-fire way to 'get rid' of them is to either squish them or throw them in buckets of soapy water.

Now... what's going to bug me here in the next few months are the ninja Tussok moth caterpillars that like to rappel down onto you from the trees... and love bugs. I hate love bugs. Especially because they're called 'Love Bugs'. Because of that name, my daughter begs and pleads with me not to kill them in droves. And I listen. I spit curses on the unknown name of whoever came up with the name 'Love Bugs'. Not really... but sometimes...

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 12:38PM
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shear_stupidity(9B)

Amaryllis and Crinums, too? *eyeing my 20 Amaryllis seedlings, 30 mature Amaryllis plants, and 5 adolescent Crinums* That's not good news.
Leekle, I've got every size and color of Lubbers. I had a friend who'd grab them and kill them for me, but he moved back to Michigan. And I can't do it. I can't grab them, I've tried. I even went and got my gardening gloves and put them on and tried, but I just CAN'T. They're too big and EW. I guess I'll have to have a net or something. *Groan!*

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 3:18PM
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katkin_gw

In my garden they eat everything. I try to squash as many of the small black ones as possible, but once they get full grown and greenish I have to cut them in half with clippers. Hubby does lubber patrol for me twice a day when he can. I kill 1000's each year due to a vacant lot next door where they breed.
I've been told wasp spray will kill the small black ones.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 3:33PM
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shear_stupidity(9B)

I don't think I could cut them in half, either. I'd have to touch them for that. My friend used to throw them at a wall, fence, or sidewalk... HARD. I can't do that either, for obvious reasons.
So nothing prevents them, then?

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 4:04PM
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echobelly

So far I've been lucky (knock on wood). Been here 3 years, and have only had a few in the yard. After I saw how much damage they can do, much as I hate to, I step on them. It's kinda like stepping on a mouse, really gross. I'm in a rural area, so I'm surprised I don't have more. Where I walk the dog along the river a few miles away, there are plenty.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 4:24PM
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katkin_gw

I don't touch them, I just reach in with the clippers and cut them in half. I have long handled clippers that work well too. I'd have nothing left of my garden if I didn't do it.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 6:42AM
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shear_stupidity(9B)

*Note to self: Buy long-handled clippers*

Good idea, Kat!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 8:48AM
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KaraLynn(z9 FL, Inverness, Citrus)

I have no problem handling the small black ones enough to throw them into a bucket of soapy water but the adult ones are another story! During the summer I keep a small shovel by the front door and when I see a big lubber munching on my crinums I use that shovel to bat them hard away from the plant. Result is one dead lubber that is usually far enough away from me that I can't see the results. The down side is that I occasionally damage one or two crinum leaves.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 8:57AM
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shear_stupidity(9B)

Kara... I'm laughing so hard at the image of you from your neighbors' vantage point! I love the Tai-Chi Shovel impression it's making in my head. I'd probably hit a dang window, myself.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 9:01AM
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KaraLynn(z9 FL, Inverness, Citrus)

It's even funnier when you take into account that I have the worst aim ever and it usually takes two or three passes of the shovel before I actually hit the lubber! It's a good thing that they are so slow moving!

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 11:49AM
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shear_stupidity(9B)

Slow moving?!?! Mine see me coming and hop and "fly" (or fall with style) so fast, I look like a toddler trying to pounce on a bouncy ball trying to hit them with something. Let's trade lubbers!

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 12:42PM
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thetradition(9b)

When I was a kid I used them for bait. Stick 'em on a hook, toss 'em in the water and wait for ol' bigmouth to take notice.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 3:55PM
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shear_stupidity(9B)

I never really learned to fish. I would love to know how to go shrimping and crabbing, but baiting my own hook? No. Not even with a boring, lazy earthworm up north. I just ~can't~.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 4:25PM
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muscledbear(10a)

I had a garden full of tasty things and as above the grasshoppers just at on my Crinums. let them go thinking they would just fly away after a bit, but they almost stripped the plants by the time I decided to take action.

We just knocked them on the ground and stepped on them. They seemed to come in group and overnight, but once we got rid of that batch, they never came back. Ours were also slow and easy to knock down and step on.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 6:13PM
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katkin_gw

The lubbers don't really fly, but will spit at you. There is another grasshopper almost as big that does fly though that looks similar to the lubber.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 6:37AM
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shear_stupidity(9B)

The ones I've got look like these:

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 7:43AM
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Michael AKA Leekle2ManE - Zone 9a - Lady Lake, F

Yep, those are lubbers.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 8:09AM
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realjet

I use needle nose pliers to grab the large ones and cut there heads off with cutters.

This post was edited by realjet on Sun, Mar 10, 13 at 18:51

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 3:08AM
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aloyzius

Yeah. I don't know much about them. But I guess they lay their eggs in the ground.

This post was edited by aloyzius on Thu, Feb 28, 13 at 20:21

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 8:15PM
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aloyzius

I just swat the clumsy things with my hand and then I stomp their guts out.

Last year I saw a few coming out of the ground at the end of winter. I dumped citronella on the nest and lit it. To my joy I sat back and watched several dozen tiny fireballs hop frantically out.

My disdain for these creatures knows no bounds.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 8:16PM
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shear_stupidity(9B)

They come out of the GROUND?!?!?
I think I've just selected my nightmare material for the night. LOL!

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 8:18PM
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KaraLynn(z9 FL, Inverness, Citrus)

Yes, the adults lay their eggs underground and the young come out as soon as the weather warms back up. Catching them right as they're coming out of the ground is the best time cause that's when they are easiest to kill.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 8:52AM
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shear_stupidity(9B)

Any tips on where to look for these underground breeding lairs?

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 8:55AM
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Michael AKA Leekle2ManE - Zone 9a - Lady Lake, F

I believe an article I read said that they prefer to use low, moist areas, such as ditches as their nesting sites.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 8:59AM
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thetradition(9b)

Basically, walk your yard in the mornings during spring and you'll see them erupt if you have them. Sevin works on them at that stage. Termites, ants and other things swarm all at once, too. If you ever notice a bunch of birds flying around like crazy, look closer... there is probably a bug eruption of some sort going on.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 10:19AM
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shear_stupidity(9B)

Crap.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 1:08PM
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shear_stupidity(9B)

So...

The flocks of Robins dancing around on my backyard slope all of a sudden might be suspicious...

And the flock of Ibis (we call them "The Murphy Gang") marching through the yard on a regular basis could also be a sign...

Wouldn't you think my "pet armadillo" would be more helpful than this???

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 4:10PM
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katkin_gw

Nothing much will eat them since they are toxic and the birds and amimals get real sick from eating them. I read somewhere a certain gackal will peck them to kill them and let them drain. Then come back the next day to eat the remains.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2013 at 9:54AM
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jane__ny(9-10)

Reading this is sooo gross! I thought the only thing I had to be on the lookout for was Palmetto Bugs (which I am totally phobic). Now I have to deal with these things??

OMG, I am not looking forward to this. NYC is calling me -

Jane

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 12:00AM
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shear_stupidity(9B)

Jane, here is a picture of one... on a FULL SIZED lighter... from last year. They actually get bigger than this.
That is not my hand.
That is my jerk-friend-who-used-to-kill-them-but-moved-back-to-Michigan's hand.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 8:30AM
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jane__ny(9-10)

I may have to switch to indoor gardening. That 'thing' is beyond belief!

Jane

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 3:09PM
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shear_stupidity(9B)

So you see why I can NOT grab them.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 3:16PM
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writersblock

On the plus side, the palmetto bugs don't seem so scary after you've dealt with lubbers for a while.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 8:45PM
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shear_stupidity(9B)

Yes.
They do.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 8:51PM
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KaraLynn(z9 FL, Inverness, Citrus)

Personnaly I'd much rather deal with the lubbers than palmetto bugs any day! Palmetto bugs and cockroches are two of the few things that actually make my skin crawl. That may have to do with being dive bombed by the things in our living room when we lived over in Okinawa. The base housing was old and due to be torn down so it hadn't been upkept and as a result there were gaps around the windows and doors that many critters would crawl through. The best type of pest control was to bring some of the native geckos inside and then listen to them battle it out with roaches as big as them in the closets at night! Thankfully we were only in that house a year at most before being moved to the newer housing on another base.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 10:19AM
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shear_stupidity(9B)

OMG.
I can't even imagine.
I lived in Mississippi for six months, South Carolina for about three years, Georgia for a year or so... all of those places were worse for bugs than here.
I see the occasional Palmetto bug or cockroach, but not very often. They make my skin crawl, too. Something about how fast they run that upsets me!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 10:33AM
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Michael AKA Leekle2ManE - Zone 9a - Lady Lake, F

I'll take palmetto bugs and lubbers both at the same time over having to deal with German Cockroaches. These things are all over my kitchen and three rounds of bug bombs have done little to thin their numbers. At least palmetto bugs are susceptible to bug bombs and will crawl out gasping for air where you can squish them. The German Cockroaches just don gas-masks and continue going about their day.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 12:40PM
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shear_stupidity(9B)

Here's a disgusting-but-true tip for you about the Germans.
They hide in your dishwasher drain and filter. That's their "bomb shelter."
We don't pay for pest control year-round. Once every 24 months we "hire" a pro... they come treat once and we cancel the service. We find dead bugs for two years!
How's THAT for twisted?
;)

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 12:48PM
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Michael AKA Leekle2ManE - Zone 9a - Lady Lake, F

Maybe next time I do dishes I will dump about a cup of bleach into the dishwasher and give that a go. If that doesn't work, I'll try running it while empty with a bit of drain-o mixed in.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 1:05PM
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loufloralcityz9

leekie,

Hang 3 or 4 inch strips of Gorilla tape (a brand of duct tape) to the bottom of your cabinetry and the cockroaches stick to the tape at night and can't get loose. In the morning fold the tape on itself and toss the tape. It is a slow method but it does thin the herd. There's a smell in the tape glue that attracts them.

Lou

    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 12:18AM
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ritaweeda

I've been terrified by lubbers ever since as a child our mom told us they would spit tobacco juice in our eye. OK, here's my best cockroach stories...I'll never forget about the old man next door who was sitting on the front porch in the dark drinking a glass of coke. He reached down and got the glass from the floor and took a big slug only to find out a huge roach had fallen into it. The roach started wiggling and jiggling just before he swallowed.
Then there was the time my mom was getting ready to make gravy for breakfast. She heated up the grease in the frying pan, took out the opened bag of flour and shook some into the hot grease - french-fried cockroach!! Needless to say we had biscuits with no gravy that morning.
Finally, one morning I went to blow-dry my hair. I turned on the blow-dryer and soon there was a sizzling sound and some smoke started drifting out of it. Thank God I looked at it with it pointed away from me. All of a sudden roach segments started flying out of the end of it - it had crawled up into it and when the heating element kicked in I guess it super-heated it and it exploded out the front end. I completely freaked.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 6:16AM
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katkin_gw

I get freaked by the roaches too, but I can use clipper to cut the lubbers in half. It was something I had to learn to do. Gardening in Fl was a whole new learning experience. Still I love it here and wouldn't move back for anything.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 7:38AM
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shear_stupidity(9B)

I always sleep with a glass of water next to the bed. I want to get one of those decanters with the drinking glass for a lid because I'm always thinking there's going to be a bug in my water!

Kat, I wouldn't move for anything, either. This year will be my "proving ground" with the lubbers.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 8:34AM
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zen_man

SS,

I wonder what an electric cattle prod would do to a Lubber.

Incidentally, I am not squeamish, and I would grab them and pull their heads off. Fortunately, here in Kansas, they aren't a problem. When I was a kid on a farm in Oklahoma, we shot large grasshoppers with a BB gun. We imagined that we were big game hunters in Africa.

Last year, I did hand-pick Nine-Spotted-Cucumber Beetles off of my zinnias. They became very numerous for some reason, and did more than the usual cosmetic damage. And, in the Fall, Wooly Worms showed up on my zinnias, so I hand-picked them. But your pest problems in Florida seem rather daunting.

ZM

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 1:45PM
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shear_stupidity(9B)

ZM, a cattle prod would probably only "prod" them into heading in another direction. LOL!

I know I'm going to have to do something about them, but I really don't want to.

I planted a begonia in a pot and two days later it's "gone." Chewed to the nubs.

Grabbing them is only part of the problem. Catching them in the act is the other part.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 2:27PM
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Michael AKA Leekle2ManE - Zone 9a - Lady Lake, F

Well, they're coming out around here now. Just the other day, my daughter was all ecstatic across the street and yelling, "Daddy! The grasshoppers are back!" To which I proudly called back, "Very cool! Keep them over there!"

I haven't seen them in my yard yet, but I walk the yard each day looking. Last year I saw a small 'swarm' of newly hatched nymphs moving across my back yard. I never squished them, but they never really stopped to attack my plants either. I'm beginning to wonder if there's something about my yard that makes it undesirable to them. Maybe the stench of cat pee from the neighbor's house actually has a benefit? That said, I will probably go out tomorrow and find them all over my plants. Murphy has a sick sense of humor like that.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 10:32PM
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zen_man

SS,

"ZM, a cattle prod would probably only "prod" them into heading in another direction. LOL! "

It might "shock" them to death. A cattle prod is tipped with a couple of electrodes, and it can deliver a painful high voltage electrical shock to a cow. It's not quite as severe as a Taser or a stun gun, but it might be devastating to a grasshopper.

If you know any kids interested in a science fair project, you might suggest that they study developing a 007 weapon against your big grasshoppers. I would rule out high powered laser rifles as dangerous to humans. However, a high powered laser can cut through steel plate, and it would "explode" a grasshopper. There have been some ingenious weapons against spiders and flies. For example, the spider catcher tools.

My first attempt at a 007 Lubber Killer weapon would be an accurate airgun or target pistol equipped with a close focusing "Bug Buster" telescopic sight.

Or, you might find that one of the "Spider Catcher" tools could grab Lubbers.

ZM

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 12:37PM
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avalon2007

One year there were so many of the newly-hatched lubbers in our front yard that we sucked them up with the shop-vac.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 7:21AM
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KaraLynn(z9 FL, Inverness, Citrus)

We've been seeing them for the last couple of weeks but never in any great numbers. That changed yesterday! There must have been at least fifty of them in mom's vegi garden and the plants they seemed most interestedin eating were her peas. They'd managed to eat at least one plant down to a nub before we spotted them!

Avalon, that sure is an inventive way to make sure that you get all of them!

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 1:20PM
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shear_stupidity(9B)

Update:
They've already gotten quite a head start on my Begonias, Coleus, and Crinums. I bought a "butterfly net" to catch them (since i can't touch them), but just need to work out what to do with them once they're in the net. I'm thinking shoot them.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 7:59PM
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Michael AKA Leekle2ManE - Zone 9a - Lady Lake, F

Just dip the net in a bucket of soapy water. With a cap of bleach mixed in for good measure.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 8:25PM
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shear_stupidity(9B)

Dip... or soak?

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 8:29PM
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SusieQsie_Fla

Hey Bridget

Got a 5-gal bucket with the lid? Pour in some bleach or something toxic, and then whenever you catch the lubbers, plop them into the drink. Put the top back on quick til they die. Maybe even use a paint bucket with an inch or two of leftover paint still in the bottom, so they will get stuck down there coated and weighted down. Old oil might work, too.

You gotta rid your yard of them SOON so they won't eat the cannas and gingers ( and other goodies ) you'll be getting in a couple of weeks.

The net is a good idea for catching. I bet after catching and disposing of hundreds of lubbers, you'll find you're slowly losing that gag reflex. That's what happened to me. I still can't touch them, but now I find pleasure in stomping them under my feet and doing The Twist (as long as I have on shoes that totally cover my whole foot). This method works best if you stomp them on the pavement, though. In the sand or grass sometimes they are able to reincarnate and live to tell the tale. I have made myself chop off the head if one is smooshd, but acting all smug as if faking its death and planning its escape.

I have also forced myself to cut them in two with a pair of scissors - so gross, though! - but when one is munching away on my precious plants and I am purposely on the hunt for them with scissors in hand, then I just have to do it. Especially knowing that if I don't, the ones that get away can lay a million eggs and next year it will be even worse.

Happy Easter!~
Susie

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 1:52PM
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shear_stupidity(9B)

I am considering how to get them out of the net and into the bucket. LOL!
And the thought of removing the lid and seeing a bunch of them dead gives me no pleasure at all.
Basically, if it doesn't bite, then I don't WANT to kill it. And if it's bigger than an ant, then I don't WANT to touch it.
I'm attached to another object by an inclined plane, wrapped helically around an axis. (Big-Bang-Theory-Speak for "screwed.")

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 2:29PM
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SusieQsie_Fla

Yes, you are.

Equally.

Time to train the midget-troops to do warfare. (Only without scissors. Give them little boots!)

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 10:38PM
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Kalie(9 - Jacksonville, Florida)

Well, I live in Jacksonville and had 2-3 of these guys around last fall and I kept chasing them off, but they would come back. I didn't know if they were doing any damage or not because they were usually just sitting somewhere without edible plants... but now it is spring and I have found at least 30-40 tiny black and red grasshopper looking things coming up in this area where it is always moist (there are a bunch of crowded lilies there at the moment.) I guess that means I need to be killing these guys because I have tons of vegetables planted and I hate these scary things! Yikes.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 5:40PM
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meg_w

This year and last I am only finding them in ones and twos. I do make a check every day since they seem to zero in on my favorites when they decide to dine. The two previous years, however, they came in hoards. I had to clear off the house and plants twice a day and nothing was safe but the weeds. They refused to eat those even when confined with them for days. LOL I donâÂÂt know what has made the difference in their numbers. I am next to conservation area, so no amount of control in my own yard should have cut back the number hatching out in the wild space. I am just counting my blessings, trying to establish new crinums and amaryllis, and plotting strategy for when whatever conditions return that bring them back in huge numbers again.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 6:02PM
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loufloralcityz9

Those sound like the baby lubbers that are emerging out of the soil around this time of year. They are black with racing stripes, the stripes can be a variant of yellow color from brown to red..... kill them now before they grow into foot long garden marauders.

I use my wet or dry vacuum to suck them up as they emerge from the ground. I put a gallon of so of soapy water inside the vacuum tub. I found the wet/dry vacuum works the best because stomping them always misses a few as they scatter.

Lou

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 6:20PM
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Michael AKA Leekle2ManE - Zone 9a - Lady Lake, F

I sort of got lucky. My daughter found a nest as it was emerging and quickly gathered them into a plastic shoe box. She begged and pleaded with me not to kill them and I begrudgingly agreed. Two days later I asked her where she had put the little lubbers and she took me around to the back yard to show me. There in the middle of a bright, sunny spot was the plastic box, complete with the plastic, unpunctured lid. Every one of those buggers were dried out shriveled husks when she pulled off the lid. She didn't cry about it, just got a little upset and said next time she would poke holes for them. But if she could have seen the mental cartwheels I was doing...

Since then I have seen maybe 5 of these things around my house and I've been lucky enough that my daughter was there to advocate for their safety as I introduced them to the bottom of my sandal.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 6:58PM
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Vidguy

I hate to admit it, but I find the big black grasshoppers fascinating to look out. A very huge and striking insect, maybe one of the most formidable around here considering their size and their coloration. I know they are bad, I catch them eating our ornamental grasses. I can't help but admiring their striking look though.

Here is a link that might be useful: survival guide help

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 11:37PM
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shear_stupidity(9B)

So I figured out how to ~catch~ the lubbers, just not a fan of shaking them out of the net and squishing them... but I did it!
I got THREE today! Which... really... is just a drop in the bucket. (No, not a bucket of bleach... just a figure of speech. LOL!)
Tomorrow, I'll be on lubber-patrol ALL day! (While planting new acquisitions)

This post was edited by shear_stupidity on Sun, May 5, 13 at 19:14

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 7:08PM
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ginger9899(10 SW Florida)

Lol luckily I've only seen 2 in my yard so far, last year. One I threw in the river and watched it swim to the edge and get back out. The other I bowled an avocado over it on the carport and watched it get back up and jump away. That's about all I'm able to do until I catch one munching on something of mine.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 10:07PM
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shear_stupidity(9B)

LOL! When I told my friend I'd killed three lubbers on my own, he asked, "What...with your car?"

LOL!!!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 10:09PM
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Hi everyone, I have this "mystery" plant...
bellagirl0614
Central Florida garden sites?
Hey all, I'm posting the lessons I learn on my central...
Dunning
How often to water Citrus trees...
I have a 4 year old dwarf Satsuma...appx. 5ft tall....
puglvr1
Jacksonville/Middleburg Bamboo?
Where can I see a serious bamboo farm so I can decide...
abracapocus
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