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OMG, Grasshoppers in Grassland!  RSS feed

 
Isawela Yonah
Posts: 51
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Hi Everyone,
I just moved back to Northern Calif. after 20+ years in the SouthEast. I was born and raised here but lived in the suburbs of Sacramento, and I guess pests are different in the suburbs than they are in the outback grasslands.
We're out in cattle country now, with oaks, oats, star thistle, and cows. We bought a place a year ago, and due to a cool damp spring, summer was pretty nice. We worked hard to get a lot of plants in the ground over winter and spring, and now, EVERYTHING is getting eaten by a PLAGUE of grasshoppers. I mean everything-like tansy, tomatoes, rosemary, lavender, marigolds, especially anything that wasn't healthy (the leaf hoppers helped that just before the grasshoppers got here) or drought stressed plants, but there's really no rule-they're pretty much eating everything.
We've got some net bags over small fruit trees but it's looking pretty bad.
And NO we're not prepared to eat the grasshoppers. They eat things that can be toxic (like paint) and can carry tapeworm.
We've been feeding some to the chickens, but it's not making a dent.

I'm just wondering if anyone has had any experience with this, and perhaps what you've ended up NOT growing due to grasshoppers.
Any wisdom would be appreciated.

Peace,
Isabel
 
Joe Braxton
Posts: 320
Location: NC (northern piedmont)
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Isabel Crabtree wrote:
..... due to a cool damp spring,


That may be your problem. Damp conditions generally are good for pests. Short of releasing the chickens, I'm afraid I don't have any good ideas.
 
gani et se
Posts: 215
Location: Douglas County OR
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To hell with the kraken ---
RELEASE THE CHICKENS!!!


Couldn't resist -- disclaimer; I only saw the preview for Clash of the Titans.
 
Evelyn Smith
Posts: 15
Location: Rice WA Zone 6
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How about guinea hens? They are supposed to feathered death to any kind of insects and they are not destructive to your garden like chickens are.
We are planning to get some here to take care of the ticks. Hope that helps.
Evelyn
Zone 6

 
John Polk
steward
Posts: 8019
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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If you do decide to use guineas for pest control, may I suggest getting a copy of Jeannette Fergunson's "Gardening With Guineas".

That is the author's website, and the price is the same as Amazon's. She will also sign your copy if requested.

 
Morgan Morrigan
Posts: 1400
Location: Verde Valley, AZ.
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you can thank the Utah alfalfa farmers for that.

they truck their bales everywhere, and bring the grasshoppers with them.

Pull the subsidies in utah for alfalfa, before the grasshoppers take over the west.

they did the same thing in Montana and Wyoming too. Prob Idaho.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9742
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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More chickens, maybe turkeys....
 
John Polk
steward
Posts: 8019
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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The State bird of Utah is the seagull! For good reason. Way back when, there was a locust/grasshopper invasion that ready to kill their entire year's crops. The seagulls from the Pacific followed them there, and solved the problem.

To this day, seagulls are a common sight around the great Salt Lake. One of the few cities that welcome the scavengers.

 
Leila Rich
steward
Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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A guinea warning...
they will massacre bugs, but the tradeoff may be being driven to insanity by their noise.
Alternatively, you might avoid that problem if they all die of fright/idiocy/a boot to the head...
Yeah, I'm not a fan. Of course, they're fine for some, but my experiences with them have been all bad
Oh, no they haven't: confit guinea leg's great!
 
Morgan Morrigan
Posts: 1400
Location: Verde Valley, AZ.
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Utah still gets major invasions, like locust plauges, and at regular cycles too. think it is 20 ? years?

they eat asphalt shingles, fence posts, tires.

Not enough birds left since the logging, and now the bark beetle taking down the rest.

https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Mormon_cricket

https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/LUBILOSA#Grasshopper_behaviour
 
You can thank my dental hygienist for my untimely aliveness. So tiny:
Video of all the permaculture design course and appropriate technology course (about 177 hours)
https://permies.com/wiki/65386/paul-wheaton/digital-market/Video-PDC-ATC-hours-HD
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