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Grasshoppers are Hatching

Posted by okiedawn Z7 OK (My Page) on
Tue, Jan 29, 13 at 9:16

It never is good to see young, tiny grasshoppers hatching as early as January, but they are hatching here. Some of them have been out for a while now because they're already at least a half-inch long. I saw one on my compost pile yesterday.

As "signs of spring" go, the first grasshopper is not really welcome news.

Dawn


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Grasshoppers are Hatching

Oh, say it isn't so, Dawn! I can't complain about last year. I had no hoppers until very, very late in the season, unlike 2011. I am hoping this isn't going to be an odd year occurrence......please, please, please.....

I didn't have any of my orb weaver spiders last year that I feed the grasshoppers to when they're present. They LOVE grasshoppers.

Early spring, the birds will collect grasshoppers, too, to feed their young a high protein meal. I have a small garden, but lots of birds come to the many perches to watch the garden and see what delectable snacks they can find.

Spiders are great, too, and other than the lack of orb weavers last year, I had lots and lots of spiders that eat the grasshoppers as well.

Susan


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RE: Grasshoppers are Hatching

Susan, I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the first hopper. Last year I didn't see any until late summer, but northeastern OK had a huge problem with them and in some areas that were out in either late January or early February.

We have oodles of wild birds and spiders here but in our rural area they cannot keep up with the massive influx of migrating hoppers in summer. In spring and early summer, the birds and other wild things usually control the hoppers pretty well and I don't worry about the hoppers doing much damage. I just don't like seeing the hoppers out this early because that's never a good sign. We had orb weavers last year, but not until later in the year. It seemed like they had a really hard time bouncing back from the Summer of 2011. We have a gazillion spiders and ground beetles out and about, I saw a scorpion yesterday, the honey bees are ravenous so I've been feeding them and the butterflies are out on pretty days too. Two weeks ago it was still pretty wintery here, but then it warmed up a bit and we have tons of hungry insects out and about.

When I lived in town, I barely noticed grasshoppers and the wild bird population controlled them quite easily. It is a whole different story out here in the sticks. Sometimes even the chickens get tired of eating grasshoppers, and just start ignoring them and looking for something else they'd rather eat. By the time we had enough grasshoppers to do any damage in our garden last summer, it was so hot that I didn't even care that they were here. I told them they could have it if they wanted it.

Dawn


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RE: Grasshoppers are Hatching

My grandparents' garden has been decimated the last two years by grasshoppers. They don't eat the cukes, squash or zukes though and tend to leave the tomatoes alone but really make it impossible to grow cabbage or lettuce. My grandfather just treats with Malathion a few times in the summer to keep them somewhat under control.


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RE: Grasshoppers are Hatching

The hoppers are always so much worse in the drought years, but so far I have avoided spraying with a chemical pesticide. I generally rely upon the beneficial insects and animals to help keep the pest insects under control, so using a broad-spectrum pesticide, whether organic or synthetic in nature, is something I avoid as much as possible.

I normally put out either Semaspore or Nolo Bait whenever I see hoppers in the 1/4 to 1/2" size because it is most effective when they are in the younger instars. Normally that is in April or even May. I don't even know if any of the stores would have Nolo Bait or Semaspore this early and don't know if I would buy it now if they did because it has a very short shelf life. For a long time, our guineas controlled the hoppers pretty well but ever since the unfortunate year of the cougars, in which all the poultry in our rural neighborhood was virtually wiped out, I haven't had the heart to get guineas again. One of our neighbors did get more guineas the year after all of us lost our poultry, and lost many, but not all of them, that next year. My chickens, when allowed to free range (which depends on how much the hawks and other predators are hanging around), control them fairly well, but I don't let the chickens into the actual garden during tomato season because they'll peck tomatoes.

One year the grasshoppers were really awful here, maybe in 2003, and even were eating our fiberglass window screens, the bark on the fruit trees (after they ate the leaves and the fruit) and even the cotton rag rugs on the wraparound porch. A lot of the ranchers here sprayed and sprayed and sprayed, and still more hoppers just kept coming. I didn't spray, but had used Nolo Bait and felt like it wasn't working.....

Then, one day, a neighbor stopped by and wanted to know why we didn't have grasshoppers at our house. (I thought we had plenty!) He explained that as he drove up the road every day, hoppers flew en mass from the bar ditches alongside the road, except at our house, where they didn't. So, I think that even though I thought we had a lot, apparently we didn't have as many as everyone else did. Since then, I do keep a better eye on the local population. When we go to wildfires, brush fires or even mere grassfires outside our local neighborhood, sometimes I am stunned by how many grasshoppers I see. I think the Nolo Bait really helps keep their numbers down, but then in late summer when there are huge bunches of them migrating in, there's not much that you can do.

In that summer when the ranchers sprayed their rangeland like mad, we lost all the bluebirdswe had here. I didn't see another bluebird for about three years. That influenced me greatly and I don't think I'll ever spray a broad-spectrum pesticide no matter how bad the hoppers are.

Seeing them out in January could be a positive thing. Maybe the weather will turn back significantly colder and they'll freeze.


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RE: Grasshoppers are Hatching

Ugh....now you know why in a previous thread I was asking about hopper control. I just had a feeling...and I very much hope you are right. I'd be happy if they freeze out ALONG with the nasty flies. Can you believe I killed one in my kitchen yesterday???? REALLY? IN JANUARY???

Ridicules, I tell ya.....

Paula


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RE: Grasshoppers are Hatching

Paula, We've had flies too. Even a mosquito or two a week or two back.

I am not happy to see hoppers this early, but it happens. I just hope it isn't an omen of a bad hopper year to come.

I agree it is simply ridiculous.

Dawn


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RE: Grasshoppers are Hatching

I haven't seen any small grasshoppers yet, but I'm still seeing large ones. I've never had a problem with grasshoppers, so hopefully this year won't be any different.

Leslie


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RE: Grasshoppers are Hatching

Leslie,

Did the large ones not die when the cold weather hit? I did have large ones until are temps dropped down into the upper single digits and low teens, but haven't seen any big ones since then.

Dawn


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RE: Grasshoppers are Hatching

I haven't seen nearly as many as I was seeing before Christmas, but there are still a few around. I always see them in the same area, so maybe they have a warm place to hide. I need to figure out where it is so I can kill them all at once.

Leslie


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RE: Grasshoppers are Hatching

GRASS HOPPERS DO WELL WITH AVG RAIN FALL UNDER 32 TO 35 IN...NEED MORE RAIN...ROCK DUST HELPS REPEL HOPPERS, PLANTS WILL HAVE A HIGH SUGAR LEVEL OR BRIX LEVEL....ALSO ROCK DUST CONTAINS TRACE COPPER WHICH PEST DON'T LIKE NEITHER DOES DISEASES...I HAVE SPRAYED MOLASSES ABOUT 3OZ TO QT OF WATER TO KILL GRASSHOPPERS....FARMERS CAN SPRAY FIELD WHILE HOPPERS ARE SMALL TO GET RID OF THEM TOO...ROCK DUST SPRAY IS GOOD TO REPEL MOST PEST...ABOUT 1 CUP IN NYLON HOSE TO 5 GAL WATER AND LET SIT AT LEAST 24 HRS..(AGITATION WOULD HELP MAKE IT STRONGER) (ROCK IS $7.83 TON HERE)...ROY


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RE: Grasshoppers are Hatching

"Seeing them out in January could be a positive thing. Maybe the weather will turn back significantly colder and they'll freeze.

Heh. That would definitely be our normal "weird" weather. But sounds good to me!

bon


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RE: Grasshoppers are Hatching

Bon, lol lol lol

Looks like I'll get my wish for cooler weather this week. Actually it is here right now.

And, as she always does, Mother Nature sent us a solution. Earlier this week when our high temperature was in the 70s (almost 80), I saw a brown blister beetle. Since blister beetles eat grasshopper eggs, seeing one hanging around the yard is a good sign. I also saw more newly hatched hoppers too. With temps here dipping into the 20s this week, maybe they'll freeze.

Still, I rarely see a blister beetle in winter. Usually I'll see a stray one here or there in June and see oodles of them in July or August. I'm not sure what it means that I am seeing one in February. Just one more weird thing......


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