You’ve spent months or even years growing a beautiful lawn just for grasshoppers to come and make it a mess.
What a waste…
We know the feeling. You fear that grasshoppers will come to your garden and eat away EVERYTHING. You worry that your sweet grass and ornamentals will not be there come the next day.
But… can you stop those fears from becoming a reality?
YES! IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THAT WAY!
If you learn how to get rid of grasshoppers, that fear will disappear once grasshoppers come to your garden. But, more importantly, they will probably not come back until next year.
What does it take? We disclose all our secrets below!
Where Do Grasshoppers Come From?
First, understand why grasshoppers are in your garden.
The obvious reason is that grasshoppers are procreating, eating, and traveling through. These jumping insects that can also fly are nomads. They rarely stay in one place throughout the year.
When late spring or summer arrives, grasses get tall, so grasshoppers come to hop in and eat. In the process, they decide this food is the perfect nourishment to hatch their eggs safely.
That’s why you’re likely to find them in gardens with high grass, places with tons of weeds, and anywhere they can eat and procreate at the same time. The result? Tons of grasshoppers hatching their eggs in your garden before winter comes.
This is their natural way of being. And they’ve been doing it for millions of years. Data says grasshoppers originated in South America and have been roaming around the world for a long time. Nowadays, they’re among the most annoying pests out there in almost every continent.
Are Grasshoppers Dangerous?
There are tons of misconceptions regarding grasshoppers.
People consider them dangerous because of their looks, which makes them a bit scary. Other people say they bite, given their big mandibles. And few think they’re poisonous, like spiders.
But none of that is true. In fact, grasshoppers are among the most benign insects out there. They don’t bite or cause issues to humans directly.
But they can be pretty harsh to plants and lawns.
Even though they don’t migrate in extensive swamps that could eat away entire farm crops, they travel in groups and quickly kill garden plants. In some cases, they stay long enough to kill large lawns and destroy vegetable gardens.
What Do Grasshoppers Eat?
They eat plants in general, but they do prefer grasses and weeds.
But it also depends on their life stage. Small nymphs, for example, stay in grasses and weeds. When they start growing and moving around, they climb plants and eat away broadleaf species. Once they get large enough to fly, they’ll find food in pretty much anything their mandibles can chew into.
Most likely, however, you’re looking at grasshoppers eating away your grass. That’s what they prefer over anything else. Especially grasses that stay humid for most of the day are perfect for grasshoppers, given they don’t have to climb or fly to eat.
14 Ways to Get Rid of Grasshoppers
So, you learned where grasshoppers come from and what they like to eat.
Now, how do you get rid of them? They seem to be pretty tough insects (LARGE even). Can you even scare them away?
Yes, don’t worry. They are insects at the end of the day. As such, they’re not impossible to get rid of as long as you do it right.
Here are some methods to consider:
1. Till the Soil
Tilling is not to get rid of grasshoppers, but more of discovering their eggs and getting rid of those.
This would result in the eggs and nymphs dying, so you will get rid of grasshoppers in the future. Some of the adults one may stay behind, but not for long.
2. Bring Grasshopper Eaters
Some animals LOVE eating grasshoppers. So this would be the perfect pest control solution, as you’d be eliminating the hoppers while enjoying the company of a new pet.
Among the different animals you can bring, there’s the hog. Some pigs may also eat them. Cats and dogs may hunt them down too. And you may find guinea pigs to be surprisingly attracted to them as well.
But if there’s an animal that will eat them without drawbacks, that would be the bird. Those birds that are large enough to eat a grasshopper won’t think twice about doing so. This includes the typical wild bird and the farm bird, like chicken, turkey, duck, or goose. Owls and fowls may also eat them up.
If you don’t mind bringing amphibians like frogs, you could also receive great benefits. Lizards like iguanas control grasshopper populations as well.
The advantage of all these animals is that they’re natural solutions. So you won’t have to use any kind of chemical or solution that could damage your garden. But the animals themselves may do so. So that’s why you must be careful of what you bring to the garden.
3. Hot Pepper
If tilling and grasshopper-eating animals don’t feel like the right solutions, you can always go the simple path: use hot pepper sprays.
We say sprays because they often come with a pungent smell that grasshoppers hate. This comes from the cayenne pepper, which is repulsive to insects.
If you can drop some cayenne pepper itself around the garden, that may also work.
And if you feel like the spray is not working, bring some hot pepper wax. It works almost the same way. You just need to spread it in strategic areas, so grasshoppers stay away.
Similar to hot pepper, grasshoppers DETEST the smell of garlic. Therefore, using garlic spray around the garden or home will scare them away.
You will have to spray the garlic all across the garden for it to work. On grasses, this is a no-brainer. For plants, spread them on the leaves.
If you don’t want to buy spray, you can always make the mix yourself. Just blend some garlic with enough water, make it as concentrated as you can and spray it around. That should get the job done.
Another effective way to scare grasshoppers away is to use vinegar. It works the same way as garlic or hot pepper. But this one is a bit more difficult to use.
If you spray vinegar directly on some plants, you may cause a bit of damage, given the vinegar’s high acidity.
We recommend only spraying in strategic places, like the soil under plants and in the borders of your lawn. If you’re protecting sturdy plants like trees and succulents, you can use the vinegar directly without problems.
6. Boric Acid
Another relatively safe alternative would be boric acid. It works almost the same way as vinegar, but this one is typically a powder.
You’ll need to sprinkle around the lawn or vegetable garden, making sure to surround the entire area you want to protect.
This one makes grasshoppers stay away. If they eat the acid, they die. That’s why it’s so effective but can also be dangerous for pets and children.
7. Neem Oil
Now we get to the really DAMAGING solutions. Neem oil won’t necessarily keep grasshoppers away but sort of killing them indirectly.
This happens because neem oil is a hormone. It produces a lack of appetite in grasshoppers once they get infected with the hormone. Slowly but surely, they end up dying from starvation.
The way to use it is to spray over the plants they’re eating. In this case, the grass, weeds, or broadleaf plants. Once the grasshoppers bite on the infected vegetation, they will get the infection and stop eating in no time.
It’s worth mentioning that neem also works similarly to vinegar, hot pepper, and garlic. But it is not as effective that way.
8. Spores and Fungus
Another slightly inhumane way to get rid of grasshoppers is to use spores and fungus, like Entomophthora Grylli and Nosema Licustae (also known as Nolo Bait).
The first acts as a fungus, infecting grasshoppers directly and paralyzing them. They will probably die within a few days, as the fungus starts to reproduce inside the insects. Sadly, Entomophtora Grylli is not commercially available, so you’ll have to rely on luck for it to happen.
The second is a spore. It kills the grasshopper and infects others around. Some adult grasshoppers won’t die from the spores, but they will be less likely to reproduce. Nymphs, however, will die almost instantly. This one is a better solution, as you can actually buy the spores as Nolo Bait or Semaspore.
9. Pesticidal Soaps
There’s no doubt about the effectiveness of pesticide soaps for many different pests, like mealybugs, aphids, lace bugs, spider mites, whiteflies, and many others. Among the others, you’ll find grasshoppers.
The fatty acids in the soap tend to be highly effective at damaging the grasshopper, causing it to flee at the first contact with the solution. In most cases, it causes almost instant death.
Pesticidal soaps, however, can be a little harmful to your plants. The fatty acids may dissolve leaves and stems, so be careful.
10. Carbaryl Dust
Want to get rid of the grasshoppers almost right away? Nothing will work as quickly as carbaryl dust.
It acts directly on the lawn or vegetation you want to protect. As soon as the insects realize you’re spreading it, they will get away. If they get to eat the dust, they will die almost instantly.
The only drawback is how expensive it is. And more importantly, how damaging it can be to other animals and some plants. So use it sparingly and only if you’re too worried about the garden.
11. Kaolin Clay
The most effective way to scare grasshoppers away without killing them would be kaolin clay. It is a soap-like solution that mixes with water and can be sprayed over your plants.
One downside would be how ugly the clay looks afterward. This could be a giant downside if you don’t want your garden to look like it was snowing.
Also, the clay is slightly toxic to humans and pets. It won’t cause serious harm, but it’s still worth cleaning leaves, fruits, and vegetables if you sprayed them with the clay.
12. Grow Plants They Don’t Like
One of the final alternatives you can always try is to grow plants grasshoppers won’t get close to. Believe it or not, there are many of those.
As for veggies, consider these:
You can plant the vegetables surrounding other plants. But you can also focus on gardens with exclusively these species, so you never have to worry about grasshoppers.
There are many herbs they will stay away from too. However, herbs are often effective thanks to their intense scents, which are often too annoying for the insects. Some of these herbs include:
If you have a flower garden instead, then you may find some of these blooming species better:
- Crepe Myrtle
- Moss Rose
It’s worth knowing that grasshoppers eat many types of plants. In some cases, you may find them chewing on some of the species above. But that’s only to test them. They will likely try to find something tastier after the fact (and go away in the process).
13. Build Pleasant Areas Around
If you have a specific area in your garden that you want to protect, making the rest of the garden more attractive would be a great idea.
Remember we told you that grasshoppers love tall grasses and weeds? Well, you may find it a great solution to let those grow in a section of your garden far from the area you want to safeguard.
This would push the grasshoppers to avoid the garden and instead go to the attractive area. This place would be safe for them to be at.
14. Make the Garden Inaccessible
Finally, nothing is more effective to keep grasshoppers away than not letting them come in in the first place.
Use physical barriers like windows and walls to keep them off your precious garden plants. Greenhouses and grow tents to also work perfectly for this. Fabric and vinyl covers may also protect your plants individually. As a last solution, just build your garden in an enclosed patio or grow room.
After going through this comprehensive article, you should know precisely how to get rid of grasshoppers in your garden.
There are sufficient alternatives above for you to find the one that works best at home.
SO… What are you waiting for? Get those grasshoppers OFF your house right now!