cymraes(8)January 1, 2007

We just built a new home on 85 acres in West Central Idaho. When we moved here last summer, the grasshoppers were eating every living plant. I want to get the jump on them this year to keep them from eating my garden and flowers. Any suggestions? I prefer to garden organically, so would prefer not to use poisons, but if they get too bad, I'm willing to do whatever is necessary to get rid of them. I was considering ducks or chickens. Thanks for any suggestions!

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Jeanne_in_Idaho(z5 N.Idaho)

Oddly enough, even though the grasshoppers are in epidemic numbers by the really dry days of summer, they don't do a lot of harm to my veggies or flowers. Maybe they prefer weeds????

Ducks and chickens are a good idea, but they like tender seedlings and fruit and some veggies too, so they have their own drawbacks. Chickens also scratch in the dirt, sometimes damaging or killing young plants.


    Bookmark   January 6, 2007 at 12:03AM
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Thanks Jeanne, Yes I had thought about the chicken's scratching, and since I will have a lot of roses, etc, with mulch, I hate to have the chicken's always scratching it out. I hope the grasshoppers will stick to other plants, but last year I moved several containers of herbs that they ate in several hours!

    Bookmark   January 6, 2007 at 12:16PM
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This is what my Dad says (he's done graduate work in this area so I trust his advice, but haven't tried it since I don't have a grasshoppers problem) -- use soil aerating shoes (or some sort of shoes with lots of sharp pointies) and stomp around in your lawn -or- get your soil aerated.


    Bookmark   January 10, 2007 at 3:08PM
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botanybob(Northern Idaho)

There is a good microbial insecticide that only affects grasshoppers and crickets. The protozoan Nosema locustae is sold under the names NOLO Bait, Grasshopper Spore, and others. This can be effective if you put it out early in the season, when you first see the tiny grasshoppers. It is not very effective on the big ones. Grasshoppers are cannibalistic and will eat dead ones, thus spreading the disease themselves. As it is perishable, you should try to order it when you think you will need it although it can keep for a while in the refrigerator.

Here is a link that might be useful: NOLO Bait

    Bookmark   March 5, 2007 at 7:38PM
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