by Anza Goodbar
(last updated February 17, 2012)
Grasshoppers have voracious appetites. They can destroy a garden in days if left unchecked. There are many ways to reduce the grasshopper population in your yard, but keep in mind it is an ongoing processes. They are the most difficult post to control due to their incredible mobility.
Common baking flour can be dusted on the leaves of plants. This is best done in the early morning when there is still dew on the leaves. The flour will adhere to the plants and the grasshoppers will consume the flour and it will gum up their digestive track and they will quit eating and die.
If you live in the country, chickens, turkeys or ducks are a natural predator to grasshoppers. Keep the fowl in a moat around the garden and they will eat any grasshopper they tries to cross the moat and eat the vegetables. A moat can be constructed of two rows of chicken wire running parallel to each other so it creates an alley for the fowl to roam freely without damaging crops.
Cats are also natural predators of grasshoppers. A couple of cats roaming in the yard can have a positive effect on the grasshopper population.
Grasshoppers hate the taste of cilantro. Planting a row of cilantro plants around the perimeter of the garden will also deter the grasshoppers from coming in and devouring your garden.
Keep the area free of weeds and overgrowth. Keep areas mowed to reduce the amount of food available for them to devour. This will keep them on the move in search of more food. Grasshoppers can fly up to 15 miles a day in search of food.
Insecticides like Cyonara LP can also be used to form a five-foot barrier around the yard to keep out grasshoppers. This product can be used on grass, mulch, flowers and soil without causing harm. Insecticides can be sprayed in bands covering only half of the land area. Since grasshoppers are mobile, this strategy has proven very effective. Some insecticides can be applied directly to plants; however, the chemicals can also be harmful to plant life.
Baits can also be used. Bait formulations are usually made from bran mixed with insecticides. Grasshoppers that eat the bait die after ingesting the formulation. Baits must be reapplied after each rain. Working in conjunction with your neighbors can also reduce the grasshopper population in your area.
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