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Help! Grasshoppers!

Posted by doucanoe MN 4 (My Page) on
Sun, Jun 3, 12 at 15:38

The teeniest, tiniest grasshoppers are all over my herbs and some of my veggie plans and perennials chewing them full of holes! I have never seen such tiny grasshoppers before, they're only about 1/4 inch long.

Insecticides are out because of the edibles. What are my options to get rid of these little pests?

I read somewhere that you can boil rhubarb leaves in water then use that as an organic spray. Anyone know anything about this method?

Other ideas?

Thanks!

Linda


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Help! Grasshoppers!

Here's a link that might help:

http://www.ghorganics.com/page12.html

I myself would try diatomaceous earth (DE), available at Menards under the name "Insect Dust." This can be used safely around edible plants.

Gary


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RE: Help! Grasshoppers!

Well, they're back....and with a vengeance. They have my spearmint, chocolate mint and oregano pretty much decimated. They are now moving to my lilies, phlox, cucumbers, basil, peppers....the list goes on. I made a spray of habanero and arbol peppers and garlic. but they just scoff at me when I spray them.

Will be heading out to find some DE.....glad I resurrected this post as I had forgotten the recommendation.

Linda


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RE: Help! Grasshoppers!

Sorry to hear of your problems. Can you post a photo of the actual insect? Have you positively identified what insect it is? What many people might call a "grasshopper" may be another type of creature. Have you ever seen them or had problems with them before last year?

Have you talked to the local agricultural extension office regarding your problem and any solutions? If you do not have the insect positively identified then take some samples in a jar to the office to show them. The bugs might be a new problem and they might be very interested to know about this issue. Hobby gardeners are considered a valuable resource to these people and the work they are charged with doing.

Won't help you this year, but think outside the box. Once insect is positively identified, research its habitat and natural predators. Eliminate or reduce any unnecessary issues that are creating habitat on your property. Do what you can in the future to attract the natural predators, assuming they will not do you harm as well. For example, I always have a butterfly net handy to net the cabbage moths when I see them, but I also have lots of wren houses and garden perches set up on site to attract wrens. Pretty cool watching them catch the cabbage moths for feeding their young. Kingbirds and other birds also catch cabbage moths. They do a lot to help keep them under control for me. Not saying you would have the same kind of solution, but you never know.

Again, don't mean to annoy, but the first thing you need to do is positively identify the creature. If you post a pic maybe we can help you ID.

Good luck,
-Tom


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RE: Help! Grasshoppers!

This won't help for this year, but as Tom mentioned, attracting the right birds in the future, can be a big help. I have both Phoebes and Bluebirds that nest next to the garden. When both nests are going, it's usually 8 babies and 4 adults that are bug eating machines. I've sat in a lawn chair and watched them, and I know that the 4 adults can catch more than 100 bugs per hour. Moths, caterpillars, grass hoppers and more are all wacked.

You can search out what you need to do to attract these birds. This has turned out to be my best bug defense by far.


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