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Grasshoppers.....

 
Martin Mladenka
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Location: Texas
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I have been trying to plant hedges and trees on my property, one of my problems is grasshoppers keep killing them.
What can I do to protect plants and trees against grasshoppers, parts of the year i have thousands of these getting
into everything also what type of hedges and trees will grasshoppers avoid?....
 
John Elliott
pollinator
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Grasshoppers will devour anything -- hence the phrase "plague of grasshoppers". You can't put up a fence to keep them out -- well, maybe a Star Trek type force field, but not a fence, more will just blow in with the next wind. Chickens really like the taste of grasshoppers, and a flock of free-ranging birds will cut down on them, but chickens have their own set of minuses when it comes to plants. I don't let mine free-range through my tomato plants.

I used to have lots of grasshoppers, but this year there don't seem to be too many of them. What I do have is lots of frogs, toads, skinks, lizards, and anoles. I go out of my way to create more habitat for them: dishes of water set into the ground for breeding spots, pieces of broken clay pot to hide under, half-rotted logs scattered in strategic places, etc. The skinks seem to like to hang out in the beds with old railroad tie borders. The creosote in the ties has long since leached out, so it's once again become a big piece of tree trunk that looks (to them) like a nice place to set up house.
 
Andrew Mateskon
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Ducks may be a solution (also with their own difficulties, not least of which is that they are sooo much more messy than chickens). Muscovy ducks seem to prefer insects to just about any other food. The pekins I raised this year were greens-eaters more than insectivores, but as I said, expect Muscovy - which is a different species not just a different breed - to control mosquitoes, flies, and grasshoppers.
 
Alder Burns
pollinator
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Location: northern California
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In my part of CA every few years there is a "plague" of grasshoppers. Much of an annual garden is basically a write-off, and even perennials can be munched to the ground, though if they are vigorous they will come back. They like smaller plants better, and isolated plants. They will start munching on the plants at the edges of a dense patch, like corn, and often leave the rest mostly alone. Downy, hairy, or raspy plants are often somewhat resistant. Small plants and important young trees can be protected with a mesh fabric, and beds can be protected with a row cover fabric. Grasshoppers and deer have made me a minimalist pruner of fruit trees, in a region where summer pruning for size control is often the standard practice.....since the taller the tree is the more likely it is to escape damage from both.....
 
Ann Torrence
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Grasshopper eruptions are common here (the legend of the seagulls arriving in the nick of time to devour Mormon crickets and save the pioneer crop? they were really grasshoppers.)
We have laying hens patrolling one orchard. No damage on the trees. I didn't time it right to get a batch of chickens on the other parcel and they are menacing some of the new pears.
Things got out of hand in the new orchard and we are just getting to mowing it, so the alfalfa is almost as high as some of the trees. I suspect we'd have even more damage if the trees were easier for the hoppers to find. For once, laziness serves.

I think might chickens work better if they are there when the hoppers start to emerge, rather than being brought in once they reach full size.

Our feed bill drops in August. Eggs from rasshopper-fed chickens are delicious.
 
Andrew Parker
pollinator
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Location: Salt Lake Valley, Utah, hardiness zone 6b/7a
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Christopher Kyprianos
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I am located in Massachusetts and this spring we seem to have grasshoppers in our strawberries. Last year we had some in some of our leafy greens. They are little right now and before they grow I would like to get rid of them. Our gardens are organic and I would prefer to keep them that way. Any suggestions on what to do to take care of these pests?

Chickens are not an option for me as my gardens are in the woods in a place where I do not live, otherwise I would use them. I'm thinking I need some other way to treat the problem.
 
alex Keenan
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What you have is protein That several type of poultry will eat for you.
My chickens keep the grasshoppers down as do the turkeys.
Guineafowl will also do this.
I like the Muscovy idea, they eat insects or animal protein they can catch. I remember a large male with a chipmunk tail hanging from its mouth.
Grasshopper tend to have a breeding cycle you just need to time your poultry around their life cycle.
 
Christopher Kyprianos
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I have to agree that chickens are a great option. I just edited my post to reflect the fact that I do not live near my gardens and that the gardens are set in the woods, where chickens would be a nice mean for teh foxes and other local critters. If the wild turkeys didn't do so much other damage I would like them do the work, but unfortunately they too cause more problems than they resolve.


alex Keenan wrote:What you have is protein That several type of poultry will eat for you.
My chickens keep the grasshoppers down as do the turkeys.
Guineafowl will also do this.
I like the Muscovy idea, they eat insects or animal protein they can catch. I remember a large male with a chipmunk tail hanging from its mouth.
Grasshopper tend to have a breeding cycle you just need to time your poultry around their life cycle.
 
alex Keenan
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OK, so now we are talking about wild birds.
Quail, chuckers, etc. There are a number of wild birds you can establish in your area. These are the edible wild birds.
You can also make habitat for non-edible wild birds.

One other option is to build a grasshopper trap.
Outside of USA they use lights to attract grass hoppers. They have a piece of glass or clear material in the path grasshopper would travel. The grasshopper hits the light and falling into a storage area.
You can also use lights and fill a kiddy pool with a half inch of old cooking oil. Insects hope into pool and get covered with oil.
Clean out pool and if oil not rancid mix grain, grasshoppers, and oil to feed chickens. If oil rancid add the mix to compost pile.

Uganda grass hopper traps.
http://shivaunuganda.blogspot.com/2009/12/tea-and-grasshoppers.html
 
Casie Becker
pollinator
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Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
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forest garden urban
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For long term effects I'd be building bird, lizard, snake, and toad habitat.

For an immediate short term approach there are grasshopper baits that carry a fungal infection. Nolo bait is the brand I hear about most. The grasshoppers eat it, sicken and die from the fungus. The key to success with this (I haven't need to resort to it myself) is to spread it as soon as possible. The younger the grasshoppers, the more successful the fungus is at controlling them.

Interesting thing to note, locusts are just regular grasshoppers who had a physiological change caused by overcrowding. Apparently brushing frequently against other grasshoppers makes them mad. Then like something from a comic book they hulk out becoming giant, swarming engines of destruction. Yes, this area is subject to occasional biblical plagues of locusts.


even when I can spell, I can't seem to keep consistent tenses...
 
Casie Becker
pollinator
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Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
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Actually, a note for other southern gardeners, this (2016) is supposed to be a bad year for grass hoppers. The mild winter will have killed very few of the overwintering nymphs, so they'll be off to a strong start.

If we're lucky, having a strong early food source might help permaculture defenses also get a good start. Those of us who have encouraged nesting birds, amphibians, snakes and spiders might have growing families eager to take advantage of such abundance. Could explain why I haven't ever needed to apply any targeted treatments for grasshoppers, myself.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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I'm already starting to see a good number of grasshoppers of all sizes except huge.
 
alex Keenan
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The best grasshoppers I have eaten were prepared according to a Mexican recipe.
Think Mexican bacon bits.
Grasshoppers, known as chapulines in Mexico, are a popular dish in Oaxaca.
A recipe I liked http://mexicanfood.about.com/od/authenticfamilyrecipes/r/chapulines.htm


Some simple ways to cook grasshoppers http://www.wikihow.com/Cook-Grasshoppers

Why spend money to kill them when you can eat them.
Outside USA many societies eat insects. They make insect part of permaculture.
 
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