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The Green Thumb: grasshopper management tips


This month's topic is grasshoppers. The challenge with grasshopper control around the home garden is that by the time you see the large grasshoppers causing problems on your plants, it's almost too late to do much that year. So, let's talk about some of the options.

In the spring and early summer, you'll start seeing the very small grasshoppers hatching out of eggs that are laid in the soil. These grasshoppers are in the range of one-quarter to a half-inch long. This is the ideal time to manage them. 

Grasshoppers have simple development. And so, the young look very much like the adult. So, when is the time to treat? It's right at that time when you see that quarter-inch to half-inch-long grasshoppers. 

And where do you treat? Generally in your garden around your yard, in open fields that are next to your yard or garden. These are the areas where grasshoppers are going to be most common. 

A very popular and effective treatment is to use a bait product. This is a bait that has an insecticide added. 

Other approaches can be floating row covers. If you can cover your plant with a floating row cover you would not need to then apply an insecticide. 

Another important component is tillage. You need to tell the soil to reduce the habitat for egg-laying. Grasshoppers lay their eggs in undisturbed soil. 

For more information about this topic, go to the Utah pest web page and look under fact sheets for grasshoppers and community why grasshopper control.