Return to the Oklahoma Gardening Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
organic grasshopper control

Posted by markyd (My Page) on
Tue, Jun 21, 11 at 11:03

I've read on these forums that Sinosad and EcoBran are two effective forms of grasshopper control. I have tiny hoppers (nymphs?) all over my garden, and they are eating the foliage on my plants. I've tried neem, capcaicin spray, etc, with no success. I do not want to use poison, as I keep it as organic as possible.

I can't find EcoBran anywhere. Does anyone have experience with Spinosad for grasshopper control?


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: organic grasshopper control

Mark,

I'm not so sure about Spinosad being effective on grasshoppers. I haven't read anywhere that it is, and I don't use it in the form of a broad-spectrum spray. I've only used it in a granular forumulation for Fire Ants (Conserve and other organic fire ant killers contain Spinosad) and in Slug-Go Plus (a combination product that kills snails, slugs, pillbugs, sowbugs and cutworms). The two products I use that contain Spinosad have no effect whatsoever on grasshoppers. You could try buying it and spraying it, but I don't know of any research that shows it is effective on them.

Semaspore, NoloBait and other products that contain the biological agent Nosema locuste can be very effective if applied during the cool season on very young grasshopper nymphs that are in the early instars. Nosema locuste is most effective on grasshoppers that are 1/4" to 1/2" long and less effective on older, larger ones. The older and larger they get, the less effective it is. It also is most effective during cool weather and much less effective in warmer weather. I usually buy Semaspore or Nolo Bait in March or early April, begin applying it as soon as I see nymphs hatching out, and usually do the last application in mid- late May depending on how much the temps have warmed up. If you decide to buy any product containing Nosema locuste, be sure to check the product for an expiration date. Nosema locuste has a fairly short life span and I have see stores selling containers of these products that already have passed their Expiration Date. Once you buy it, store the unused portion in the refrigerator to keep it fresh so it will be effective at least through its expiration date.

I'll get to EcoBran in a minute, but want to go through other organic options first.

One of the best ways to control grasshoppers is to have free-ranging chickens or other poultry. I have found this to be pretty effective. However, it is most effective in a smaller, more confined area and less effective on acreage. If you live on acreage, especially acreage surrounded by rangeland, you may find poultry to be much less effective because (a) rangeland areas can produce, support and shelter more grasshoppers` than your poultry can eat; (b) predators that free range may eat your poultry (a serious issue for us on our property); and (c) some poultry destroy your plants by digging and scratching around them or pecking the tomatoes or peppers and do more damage than the grasshoppers might. I think poultry works best if you build a fenced, grass 'moat' around the garden and confine them there. Then the hoppers get eaten as they're coming across the 'moat' to reach your vegetables. Of course, if you're in a city with a 'no poultry' ordinance, they wouldn't be an option for you anyway. Some cats and dogs catch and eat grasshoppers too, but I wouldn't rely on them for pest control.

I've had a reasonable amount of luck in some years with some old folk remedies. One of these is to mix some liquid molasses with water and place it in quart jars (half-filled with the water/molasses in it) in the garden. The grasshoppers go into the jars to drink the sweetened water and then drown in the water. This works pretty well in average years, but not so well in bad years with high numbers.

I've also had a reasonable amount of luck dusting plants with all-purpose flour. It gums up their mouth and makes it hard for them to feed. I don't know if it really kills them, but it made them leave my garden. I hated the way it made the plants looked, and if you had dew or light rainfall get on the foliage, it gummed up the leaves which might be bad for them. I also hated the way it looked and only used it that one summer. I think it might have worked, but not well enough for me to do it again. I also had a lot of foliar disease issues before I applied the flour to the plants, and none prior to that, so I blamed the foliar diseases (fairly or not) on the flour.

You can spray with Kaolin clay in the form of Surround WP. Will it work? I don't know. Some folks say it does, some say it doesn't. I think it is one of those things you have to try and see if it works for you in your garden and in your weather conditions. A lot of people only use it on things that are easy to hose off, like tomatoes or plums, for example, because it would be quite annoying, for example to wash it off of beans. It might be easier to wash off greasy beans than regular beans.

Now, about the EcoBran. It is not organic nor is it approved for use in "Certified Organic" agricultural programs. EcoBran is a bran product that contains 2% Sevin. Because it is in a bait form, it only harms insects that ingest the bail so it is much less likely to hurt beneficial insects (they tend to eat other insects, not plant parts like bran) and for that reason, I bought some to try this year. I haven't tried it yet. I've been waiting for the wind to settle down. Since a slight chance of rain is in our forecast this afternoon and tonight, I might put some out tomorrow. If I'd put it out during the last couple of weeks, it would have blown clear to OwieBrain's house in Missouri.

I have pretty good success with Semaspore or Nolo Bait in March through May, so see relatively little grasshopper damage during those months. However, as little grasshoppers become big grasshoppers and as big grasshoppers progress to the migratory behavior that helps them survive, I see increasing amounts of damage. By July of a bad year, the grasshoppers are present in heavy numbers and it doesn't matter what you do. Even if you kill them all today, more migrate in tomorrow. It is a constant battle through about the end of August. It is worse is hot and dry years. (I know every summer in Oklahoma is hot and most of them are dry, but the hotter and drier it gets, the worse the grasshoppers become.) Face it, by mid-summer our landscapes and gardens are a green oasis in a sea of brown rangeland. (That might not be as true for folks in cities, but it is true for those of us in rural areas.) If you are a grasshopper who likes to eat green stuff, where are you going to go? To the green oasis, of course.

Grasshopper populations cycle up and down. Last year was a tremendously bad year, and I was hoping it was the peak of the cycle and that they'd be less bad this year. I'm not sure if that is what's happening though. They seem really bad this year here where I live, so maybe they are as bad as last year or even worse than last year. Time will tell. Their population is increasing daily and they are eating holes in the leaves of my lemon balm, basil, catnip, southern peas, okra, green beans, cucumbers, corn, etc. That's why I bought the EcoBran. It is hard to find, and it was back-ordered for a couple of months and I was beginning to worry it wouldn't get here in time.

I'm hoping to spread the EcoBran in a 20' wide band alongside our southern property line, as tall rangeland lies just over the fence from us on that side. That land is never mowed and only part of it is ever grazed, so it is a grasshopper haven. They then migrate into our property from that grassland and they always destroy the stuff I have growing along the fenceline first, so it is the obvious choice for the use of EcoBran. I also likely will apply a 10-20' band of it around the outside of the garden fence. I really don't want to use it 'inside' the veggie garden, but I will if I have to. However, I'll be selective about where I put it. Since I don't use pesticides as a rule (I consider myself 98% organic), I'm used to picking cherry tomatoes or sugar snap peas and eating them as I work. Using EcoBran in the garden could ruin that activity for me. Alright, I know the world wouldn't end if I had to pick a bowl of cherry tomatoes and wash them before eating them, but it wouldn't be the same as picking and eating a handful as I walk by the plants while I'm working out there in the garden.

I generally order Semaspore from Planet Natural, and they also were the source for the EcoBran I purchased. I've bought organic supplies from Planet Natural for years, and I'll confess I was a tiny bit irritated when EcoBran showed up in their catalog. However, being a realist, I accepted the fact that even organic growers need "something" that works on grasshoppers during the hot season (since Nosema locuste products do not), and since EcoBran is formulated as a bait and has only 2% Sevin, it is the most ecologically-responsible product for a person to use. So, I got over being irritated. Still, for a couple of years I've resisted buying it and using it. Last year, though, the grasshoppers migrated onto our property in astoundingly huge numbers (every step that I took, as many as 10-15 of them would fly up into the air). In a matter of 2 or 3 weeks they had stripped almost every plant in our Peter Rabbit Garden of all foliage. I had completely naked bean plants and tomato plants. Then, the hoppers migrated to the big garden for their encore performance. So, I have EcoBran (44 lbs of it!) and I intend to use it.

When we moved here in 1999, the grasshopper population was at a peak or maybe the first year post-peak and I had a lot of trouble. Then, their population cycled downward before peaking again in 2003. (It was a hot, dry year. I think we ahad maybe 18-20" of rain that entire year, so it was the perfect weather for them.) That year, they ate the fiberglass window screens, bark off young fruit trees, fruit off the trees, everything that was still green including all the vegetables and lots of the shrubs, and even nibbled at the rag rugs on our wraparound porch and the throw pillows on the porch swing. They were bold and were land on you and start chewing on your cloths. I swear I think they did that just to spite me because they knew I hated them so! That's when I started using Semaspore and Nolo Bait religiously in the spring, but it still doesn't help in the hot season.

I also think at times that I don't realize how effective the Semaspore may have been. Even when I am "still" seeing grasshoppers, maybe I am not giving it full credit for greatly reducing their numbers even though it doesn't entirely eliminate them. In 2003, all the ranchers around us went nuts and sprayed, sprayed, sprayed pesticides heavily in an attempt to control the hoppers. However, it didn't seem effective since more of them kept migrating in from elsewhere. What did happen is that all the bluebirds died and we didn't see another bluebird here for about 3 years. One of my farmer neighbors was frustrated after all that spraying because he felt like all the spraying hadn't even helped protect his pastures from grasshopper devastation. He kept asking me why I didn't have "lots" of grasshoppers like he did, but I thought I had tons of them. It wasn't until I went to his place to see his garden that I realized he had 10 times as many hoppers as we did, and his house is less than a mile from our house. So, even though I thought the Semaspore hadn't been very effective that year and also that the guineas and chickens weren't "doing their job", I did learn that our anti-grasshopper measures must have been working pretty well since we didn't have as many as he did. Still, we had too many.

The ultimate solution likely is to grow everything under floating row covers, but with the amount of wind we have here, I think it could be very hard to keep them in place. I have the floating row cover material in my barn and may resort to using it if I have to. However, in recent weeks we've had some very gusty wind and I don't know that floating row covers would stay in place, even with U-shaped landscape fabric staples holding them down, in the kinds of wind we've been seeing. Plus, for the veggies that rely on insects for pollination, you can't leave them covered up all the time anyway unless you're going to hand-pollinate your crop.

There, I think I've told you about all that I know about grasshoppers. Well, I know more, but I've said enough. We have grasshoppers in every color of the rainbow here, and if they were not so annoying and so destructive, I'd probably not mind them too much. A town near where my dad grew up in Texas, just across the river a bit from the SW corner of Love County, has a Grasshopper Festival every year. I consider that a case of making lemonade out of lemons. Have we ever been to it? Nope, and we don't go to the Fire Ant Festival in Texas either. Some insects just should not be celebrated!

Dawn

Here is a link that might be useful: EcoBran at Planet Natural


 o
RE: organic grasshopper control

Mark;

You're not alone. They're abundant here! Every type of leaf-hopper that exists lives in my yard. I swear.


 o
RE: organic grasshopper control

ChickenCouple,

They're everywhere. Oklahoma has at least 130 species of grasshoppers. Imagine that. Before we moved here, I thought I'd seen grasshoppers....I'd seen yellow ones, green ones, black ones, etc. Oh what a sheltered life I had lived growing up in the city, because then we moved here and I found out there were a lot more in all sizes and colors. We have grasshoppers with red legs. Grasshoppers with yellow bodies and green legs. Grasshoppers with green bodies and yellow legs. Grasshoppers with 'wings' that are orange. (They look like butterflies when they fly.)

See the link for a little info on grasshoppers in Oklahoma.

Dawn

Here is a link that might be useful: OSU Fact Sheet on Grasshoppers


 o
RE: organic grasshopper control

I have to admit that I love grasshoppers from my days as a child catching them for hours on end and feeding them to the fish in my pond. I love having many kinds and having them all around my house and small pond, but if they were eating my blueberries or pecan trees I would probably change my mind on them.

I don't understand how poison and organic are mutually exclusive. To the grasshopper, it is either a poison or not, no matter where it comes from. I would worry about whether it hurts non-targeted pests or plants more so than whether or not it is organic.


 o
RE: organic grasshopper control

Dawn-

I have read mixed things about Spinosad. It's good to see that you have experience with it, and it's had no effect on the hoppers. That was what I expected. I have also read about Nosema Locuste, but can't find any that's not expired. As for chickens...I love the idea, but I live in a neighborhood with an HOA. They'd pitch a holy fit if I had chickens in my backyard.

The molasses method sounds interesting. It's definitely worth a shot. As for EcoBran...I'm OK with Sevin as long as it's not getting sprayed on my plants. I'm not "certified organic," nor do I ever plan to be. I just want to make sure the veggies are safe for my family to eat.

The hoppers in my yard are still bright green and pretty small (I'm guessing 1/2 inch or so.) I hope I can still find a way to control them. They're WAY worse this year than last for me, but I also have 4x as much in my garden this year. I'll check out planet natural and see what I can find (specifically, Semaspore). They are devouring the leaves on my Bhut Jolokia and Habanero varieties. Really frustrating that they're not interested in the "common" varieties, but they go after the ones that are most difficult to grow. ARGH! I'm ready to go out there with a blow torch. My 5 year old son went "hopper hunting" with me last night. We stomped over 30 hoppers in less than a half hour...and we have a small back yard.

I do have a few bird feeders up, but they don't even seem to make a dent.

Thanks everyone else for your input. I will NOT lose this war!!!


 o
RE: organic grasshopper control

Scott,

I just hate straying from my organic philosophy. (sigh) Not that I haven't done it before...I used Round-Up a couple of years ago, and have used chemical fire ants killers in the lawn before Concern became available. Sometimes, though, the organic 'solution' is not a good one, and there are some pests for which I doubt a viable, affordable, easy-to-use organic solution exists. There is only so far that I will go to do things organically. For example, although some people have good luck with injecting either Bt 'Kurstaki' or beneficial nematodes directly into the stems of squash plants to kill SVBs, I'm just not willing to spend my time and money doing that.

However, having said all that, there also are organic products I wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole, including pyrethrins, rotenone and sabadilla. It doesn't matter to me that they are organic because they're linked to various health issues in people, domestic animals or wildlife. It surprises people sometimes when I tell them I don't use pyrethrins, for example, but just because it is organic doesn't make it safe and I love my cats and dogs (and most of our wildlife--and you know which ones I don't like!) more than I hate the pests the pyrethrins would target.

I hope that the EcoBran works because if it does, it is a solution I can live with. However the last time grasshoppers were this bad, Fred sprayed his garden with Sevin and something, maybe his hay pastures, with Dimlin (or something whose name sounded like Dimlin) and it seemed he had more grasshoppers afterwards than before he sprayed, even after multiple sprayings. I remember that he was very frustrated and complained that when you stood and looked at his grass, the grass was moving as if the wind was gently stirring, but there was no wind---it was the movement of the grasshoppers. He said that over and over "the grass is moving its so full of them". However, he's been farming and ranching here for virtually his whole 88 years, so it isn't like he is not familiar with grasshoppers and certainly he knows that's how they are in a bad year.

Mark,

Because I have to drive all over southern Oklahoma and North-Central Texas to find all the organic supplies I need, I just do a big order of all of them somewhere in the Jan-Feb. timef rame. The shipping costs more than I like, but it would cost us a lot in gasoline to go to the nurseries that carry organics, so ordering them and paying for shipping may not save me any money but likely doesn't cost more than driving all over looking for them. We're not especially close to anything, so even a 'simple' trip to Wal-Mart, Lowe's or Home-Depot is a 60-70 round-mile-trip. I usually order my oganic supplies from Planet Natural, Worm's Way (especially if I need grow bags), GH Organics or Peaceful Valley Farm Supply.

I try to time my order so that the Semaspore they send me will arrive about the time the hoppers start hatching out. However, sometimes that 'just in time' ordering doesn't work if something is back-ordered for two months. The EcoBran barely arrived in time and I was getting a little worried it wouldn't arrive until July which would be too late to save my beans from the hoppers. The Semaspore arrived maybe 7-10 days after I ordered it, which I think was in late March or early April, so that was perfect. I had about 2 months of shelf life before its expiration date and I knew I'd use it all before then, and I did. It did make a noticeable dent in the hopper population. Those little ones just completely disappeared. However, new ones appeared periodically, so I'd put out more of it. I was only using it in our gardens and not on the grassy pasture type acreage.

I don't think Semaspore is very effective at high temperatures because the heat may negatively impact the Nosema locuste. For me, it only seems to work in March-May. If I had small hoppers now (or for that matter, large ones), I'd skip the Semaspore for this year and go straight for the EcoBran.

The terrible thing that grasshoppers at our place in southcentral Oklahoma this year is that full-sized, adult migratory ones showed up one day in March. Adults! In March! I was so upset I was practically hyperventilating. There were tons of large wildfires in Texas near us at that time, and the Texas wildfires extended way, way down into south Texas where I think the grasshoppers might have overwintered. My theory is that as the wildfires burned first thousands and then hundreds of thousands of acres, the hoppers fled and moved north until they eventually arrived here and started eating what little we had that was green in March. Luckily, my chickens ate a lot of them and I think some recurring late frosts may have gotten some of them, but any time you have active, adult grasshoppers in our climate in March, that's a bad omen.

If I had hoppers on Bhut Jolokia and Habanero peppers, I'd cover the plants with floating row cover material pegged down to the ground with U-shaped landscape pins. As long as it takes both of them to mature peppers, if the plants are being eaten by the hoppers, your harvest could come really, really late.

I am not certified organic, but try to garden as organically as possible and absolutely despise the smell of Sevin, but I'm using the EcoBran anyway. At least it is in a formulation that won't hurt my beneficial insects. Not only do I want food that is raised with as few chemical imputs as possible, I don't want to poison the air, soil and water where we live. We have abundant wildlife and tons of pets and I want to keep it that way. With most pests in my garden, there are beneficial insects that will eat the pests. However, only the birds (and an occasional silly dog or cat) eat the hoppers. We have oodles of birds and they are always in the garden hunting, but the hoppers arrive in swarms and it seems like we arrive at a certain point, usually around the first or second week in July, where the birds are sick of them and seem to stop eating them. I can't say I blame them either.

I've linked the Grasshopper page from the website of GH Organics. It has some useful info and possible remedies on it too.

Good luck with the war on the hoppers.

Dawn

Here is a link that might be useful: GH Organics: Grasshopper Page


 o
RE: organic grasshopper control

I'm hoping the EcoBran works. Below is an updated photo of some of the damage to the front flower bed. Now they are starting in the veggie garden.

Here is a link that might be useful: Grasshopper damage


 o
RE: organic grasshopper control

This thread is a year old but I wanted to add my experiences in case anyone finds it in a search.

I've had good luck killing grasshoppers with Spinosad spray. You'll have to spray all the favored plants heavily on both sides of the leaves. The grasshoppers ingest it when they eat more of the plant. The downside is that after ingestion it takes a week or so to work on a mature grasshopper so it isn't a fast control and your plants will still get chewed some. But the hoppers that do it will die. Of course you'll get others moving into your yard so it isn't a perfect solution. But used consistently it certainly cuts down on the local population. I plan to start earlier next year and hopefully I can get the population thinned down before they reach such a hungry and destructive size.

You'll need to reapply after a rain or if you get water on the leaves when irrigating. Again, it isn't a perfect solution but it is organic and for me that was an important plus.

Verdant


 o
RE: organic grasshopper control

Dawn wrote: "We have grasshoppers with red legs. Grasshoppers with yellow bodies and green legs. Grasshoppers with green bodies and yellow legs. Grasshoppers with 'wings' that are orange. (They look like butterflies when they fly.) "

Don't forget the ones which bite! I didn't know such a thing existed, till I came to Oklahoma. Fortunately, they only bite if one grabs hold of them to put them on a fish hook.

Yesterday I put two meal of fish in the freezer, using our abundant crickets and grasshoppers as bait. Been itching to get down to our pond and fish ;)

George
Tahlequah, OK


 o
RE: organic grasshopper control

George, I don't get bitten by hoppers, but then I am not trying to put them on hooks.

You ought to have enough hoppers and crickets there to catch a lot of fish. I don't know how you find the time to go fishing though.

We have lots of hoppers, but I don't think they are nearly as bad as they were in the early 2000s or late 1990s when they even ate the bark on fruit trees and ate the cotton rag rugs on the wraparound porch and the fiberglass window screens. In those years they were ranging/migrating in huge hordes. They're worse in the parts of our county that have had the least rain, which is roughly the northern half of the county. It is early yet and their population doesn't usually peak here until late July or early August.

One reason I don't think they're as bad here is that our year-to-date rainfall is right at our average annual rainfall through this point in time, whereas yours is way below average. The difference in the hopper population with below average rainfall and drought is astonishing compared to what it is like in average rainfall. Of course, if this week's rain misses us and we continue to dry up, my hopper population could get as large as yours. It only takes us 3 weeks to go from a typical hopper summer to a really bad one.

Dawn


 o
RE: organic grasshopper control

Our neighbor said at church today that he turned his chickens out and the grasshopper count and amount of feed he was feeding went down. I did not say anything but I bet his chicken count goes down also it they stay out long.
Grasshoppers are not the only hungry critters out there.


 o
RE: organic grasshopper control

My guineas are my best grasshopper control, but as mentioned by several others - if I leave them out too long the coyotes get the guineas - even in broad daylight. We do seem to have a lot more grasshoppers just in the last couple of weeks - all colors all sizes.


 o
RE: organic grasshopper control?

I am having some of the same trouble as George. I had two Doctor appointments in Ft. Smith today. On the way out I checked the garden (not that there is much in the garden) and found two swarms of Striped Blister Beetles. When I got back the were scattered and moving toward the flower beds and the south garden. I have not let them scatter in the past, I expect to be dragging out the big guns soon.

Larry

You may have to magnify the picture to see the bugs, but there is more than enough there, and they are in other areas.

Photobucket


 o
RE: organic grasshopper control??

Sorry, I posted this picture on the wrong thread. It should have gone on the Assassin bug theard, that is where George posted his remark on the Blister beetles. I will try to pay more attentain to what I am doing.

Larry


 o
RE: organic grasshopper control

No problem Larry. Blister beetles seem to belong with grasshoppers. That's an ugly horde, for sure!

George


 o
RE: organic grasshopper control

Blister bugs eat grasshopper eggs, so this is the perfect place for them. That's why I seldom kill them. I'd rather have the blister beetles this year devouring the grasshopper eggs so there won't be so many grasshoppers next year. However, if I catch a blister beetle in the act of eating a tomato plant while I'm picking tomatoes, I ruthlessly snip it in half with my garden scissors.

I've never had them in huge numbers like y'all are seeing them though.


 o
RE: organic grasshopper control

I dont really know where to post this, but I wanted to bring an update on my blister beetles.

I now check my plants at least 2 times a day. I noticed yesterday that the blister beetles had moved in on my cucumber plant, they were not there the night before. I sprayed the plant up just past the blister beetles and the grass around the plant. This morning I noticed them on my watermelons. I sprayed the plants and mulch around them.

Yeaterday I noticed the beetles on my mulch/compost pile. I did not want to spray the pile and thought that the bugs were going into the pile to get the produce waste that I had buried in the pile. To check this theory I placed some produce waste on top of the pile to se if it would attract bugs, it seemed to arrtact bugs.

I dont know how to make a link to the pictures pertaining to the bugs so I will just post a picture and if anyone wants to see more they can click on the picture and go into my album. If anybody can tell me how to make a link like Seedmama did I will be glad to do so in the future rather than tying up so much time and space.

I hope to control the beetles by spot spraying where they are doing damage.

Larry

Photobucket


 o
RE: organic grasshopper control

Larry, You have more blister beetles there in one photo than I'll see on our entire 14 acres in a year. I think likely is the drought you've been having.

What are you spraying them with, and do you think it is working?

Dawn


 o
RE: organic grasshopper control

Dawn, I am spraying them with Ortho Maxx. I dont like using the stuff, but those bugs can strip plants in a day or two. I wish I could take a moving picture so you could really see what it is like. Its almost like army ants moving across the lawn, eating every thing in their path.

I was invaded year before last with black blister beetles, last year with the striped, and then again this year with the striped. The black ones were not near as much trouble as these. I bought the Ortho Maxx to kill the black blister beetles year before last that got on large Clematis vine. They almost had it stripped the vine before we noticed them. The spray works, The ground was black under the clematis vine. I have now used the Ortho 3 times on certain garden plants and it killed at least some of the bugs. The dead brown striped bugs are hard to see in the mulch. They did not return to a plant that I had sprayed. I have been thinking that I may spray a strip around the south garden to see if that may keep them out. I have quite a number of black blister beetles in the south garden but have not noticed the striped ones. I also have a lot of grasshoppers in the south garden. It has been so hot and dry for so long that I think the insects are moving in and eating anything they can find.

Larry


 o
RE: organic grasshopper control

Larry I have had them off and on just as thick as yours. I used Sevin and they were gone, but they can come and go. That is dangerous because if you don't check your garden your plants could be gone before you have a chance to save them. Yesterday I was mowing the long grass where I have been watering. Mostly I don't have any grass. I noticed blister beetles were all over the grass. Jay had mentioned garlic spray so I crushed some garlic and made up a spray. By the time I got it made and in my sprayer, they were gone. I saw some of them fly away when I made a few passes with the mower. I hadn't thought about them flying away because they seem to run everywhere on the ground like ants every which way. So I had my garlic spray and no bugs. Since the sunflowers are covered in lace bugs, I used my spray on them. Tonight the sunflowers had no bugs but I got hungry smelling the area and am making garlic bread. Sorry to be silly because I know you have a serious problem. With everything drying up and no rain in sight, it is good to laugh about something.


 o
RE: organic grasshopper control

Larry, I usually have the black ones. When the striped ones would show up, they'd strip the Sweet Autumn Clematis naked and then leave. The black ones would stick around and eat tomato plants. After they had striped the Sweet Autumn Clematis naked during the drought of 2008, it died and didn't come back and we didn't replace it. We haven't had many striped blister beetles since then.

I think you're right about the insects invading heavily in search of food. That's exactly what happens here. It will seem like they are too bad around us for a long time, but not here, and then all of a sudden they reach us too and they're everywhere. That's one reason I don't think it pays to water heavily. If your garden or lawn or landscape beds are gorgeous and green when everything else around you is brown and dormant, guess where the insects will go? It drives me up the wall. I am seeing much more damage in the garden from grasshoppers the last week than I did prior to that. They're really eating the leaves of the okra and southern peas, and I need to do something about it quick.

To think...when we first moved here, I was only concerned that cucumber beetles and tomato hornworms might be a problem. I had no idea many how problem pest type insects would show up in our garden every summer.

Helen, Spraying garlic spray makes me hungry for anything Italian too, and it does a pretty good job of repelling all kinds of insects. I think it may repel mosquitoes because we just don't have them here near the garden or house very often at all.

Dawn


 o
RE: organic grasshopper control

Helen, thanks for the laugh and the tip about the garlic spray. The garlic spray may be a pretty good bet, between the grasshoppers and the blister beetles my north garden is almost stripped except for my Evergreen bunching onions.

I did not know the beetles could fly, they just seemed to vanish.

Larry


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Oklahoma Gardening Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here