What is this?

Cocogirl123September 2, 2012

What is this guy and what is a safe way to get rid of him? We are growing our own fruits and veggies to avoid all those chemicals used in commercial farming (and it just tastes so much better), so if you could suggest something that isn't going to douse our plants, that would be great.

Thanks so much!!!

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jamesandfely(6)

Grasshopper

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 8:35PM
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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

Unless you are growing lettuce, they don't eat too much. I have a few, but not enough to worry about.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 8:44PM
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garf_gw

Think so? This used to be an Everglades Tomato plant.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 10:24PM
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Djole(6)

All of the grasshoppers are herbivores (plant eaters), although im pretty sure 1 grasshopper couldn't do that much damage to your plant (i suppose you've found 1 only since you referred as "him"). The real problem, and what could do that damage is locusts - grasshoppers in a swarm with very destructive behavior.

There isn't a particularly effective non-chemical way of protecting crops from them as far as i know. They even show high resistance to various pesticides. If their numbers aren't high - just catch and squish when you see one.
You can also use insect mesh or shadecloth to protect your plats, but make sure it is NOT green colored (they are attracted to green).
If you see a whole swarm coming into your garden, the best thing would be to grab a few beers and sit it out. I'm hoping it won't come to that.

Cheers,
Djole

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 7:11AM
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MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

I disagree with edweather. Grasshoppers can eat right through your lovely garden and leave it looking like the picture from garf. I've been very frustrated because they are so hard to get rid of. Just yesterday my husband pointed out an ad in Mother Earth News for a Hopper Stopper. I ordered one and am tap, tap, tapping my foot waiting for it to arrive. 'Hoppers are super destructive - I sure hope this gadget works.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hopper Stopper

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 8:01AM
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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

Well......only "one" was shown in the photo on a fully leafed plant. And I referred to having a "few" myself. A SWARM is totally different, if that's what we're talking about. If I had a swarm I doubt I would be referring to them in such endearing terms in the singular as "guy" and "him."

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 10:34AM
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MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

The problem in my gardens was not a swarm [as in Pearl Buck's The Good Earth] but the hoppers lay eggs in the mulch around my Lady Banks rose hedge, at least that's where I *think* they have been breeding. If there's one 'hopper, there's more 'hoppers. A whole friggin' family is likely out there. cocogirl is just seeing one at a time. Sorry ed - those bad boys are just lurking, waiting for some fresh greenery. :-\

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 11:35AM
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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

Sorry, I just checked my careometer and it's not registering much. If I had to worry about every single bug I saw, well.......;-))

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 12:03PM
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Cocogirl123

Thank you so much to everyone who responded! I do not have a swarm, which is great. I highly suspect I have more than one as I am seeing "him" with increasing frequency and honestly, I am not the best at noticing things though I do try to be. Things didn't seem that bad, so I have let "him" be for a while, but as I said, I am noticing him more often and have been seeing more destroyed leaves. Clearly my hope to live at peace with all creatures was a mistake - lol!

Based on what you are saying, I think I'll give my 5 year olds some reward for every one they catch and smush. My garden overall is doing well, but I'm most concerned about some carrots the kids planted a little over a week ago. I want those carrots to do well so the kids can have a feeling of accomplishment... and my reading suggests those baby carrots are really quite the treat for grasshoppers. If you have any other suggestions, though, I really appreciate it.

Thank you all for your feedback - I really appreciate it!!

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 1:10PM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

So grasshoppers in a swarm are called locusts? I never knew that b'c I thought locusts appeared not every year but in a cycle of about 7 years, or am I thinking of that movie the Seven Year Itch? LOL

I love to hear the sound of the grasshoppers at night, I don't know how many are around here but I could make a long list of critters in my rural are that would attack my tomato plants before I'd even think of grasshopper/locusts.

There was one in the house once and was clicking so loud and on such a regular basis that it really got to me. Possibly like having water drip on ones head all the time? I dunno. LOL

Carolyn

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 1:42PM
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MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

If you can attract some birds, they love to eat grasshoppers. Here we have mockingbirds that will sit on a perch in the yard, gently spread their wings to create an illusion of movement, then pounce on the 'hopper who fell for that trick! Hah!

We all have different critters that invade and attack depending on multiple factors. For me, two years running, grasshoppers took out any seedling I set out. I did not realize for a long time [note the two years mentioned above] it was grasshoppers and was trying lots of eradication methods (like DE) that did not work. One day while spraying a shower-like mist on a plant this HUGE, I mean HUGE, 'hopper jumped out. Then I knew! I now cover the bed with mosquito netting until the plants are larger. Learn as I go, that's me. Carolyn, you have generations before you that have grown tomatoes. The knowledge is in your DNA! and grasshoppers may not like upstate NY winters. Phoenix is Destination Central for those critters.

Peace.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 1:59PM
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Djole(6)

Here are 2 links to interesting articles on wiki:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grasshopper
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Locust

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 2:28PM
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sharonrossy

Okay, grasshoppers don't know too much about. I always thought cicada's made that lovely sound at night, but in any event, if they eat my plants, they are not friends of mine!
I was infested with japanese beetles this year, and thankfully, they don't like tomatoes, only roses!!!
Carolyn, I thought locusts were a 7 yr cycle too, not just the seven year itch!

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 2:48PM
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Djole(6)

This might help clear things up:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magicicada

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 5:20PM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

Carolyn, It was probably a cricket that "was clicking so loud and on such a regular basis that it really got to me." I don't think that grasshoppers click. At least mine don't! LOL

As marymcp said, if you get a swarm, " Grasshoppers can eat right through your lovely garden and leave it looking like the picture from garf."

A good feral cat does wonders in the garden, mine collects bugs every day! He is a hunter. And yes, before anyone asks, he has been neutered! And he has his own little cozy house, he comes in during bad weather.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 1:58PM
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