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biblical invasion of grasshoppers!

 
Posts: 6
Location: high prairie, New Mexico
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I live on the high prairie of central New Mexico. the pesky grasshoppers have appeared early and in devastatingly large numbers. this is the worse I've ever seen it.
In past years I've used ducks, turkeys and guinea fowl to help keep the numbers down. I can't find any guineas or turkeys that are old enough to turn loose. the hawks keep a close eye out.
My orchard has been defoliated, the entire vegetable garden is gone and now they are munching on the weeds.
we've tried the shop vac in the evening, it gets a lot but man o man there's millions.
I tried a solution of diatomaceous earth, molasses and water, spraying it on the plants. It didn't seem to make any difference.
Any new ideas?
Help?
 
Posts: 20
Location: Roseburg/Eugene, OR
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Do you have any fine netting you could get your hands on that you could drap over key plants? If so you might save some of the plants, and even if you don't save the garden, you could at least collect and dry the little buggers as feed for your fowl.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1602
Location: northern California
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We have outbreaks of grasshoppers every few years here too. The first time it happened was a surprise, but I was still able to save the new trees by putting net bags over them. I wrote off the annual garden and had fun with a big sweep net and fed them by the handful to the chickens.....it was fortunate that I was raising some young birds that year. The taller the plants are, the more likely they seemed to escape the worst of it. And larger, established perennials and trees are more likely to come back successfully after a defoliation event, whether from frost, bugs, deer, etc. At least here, it's only every several years, so you may be fine (to replant, plant a fall garden, etc.) once they clear out.
 
steward
Posts: 1191
Location: Torrey, UT; 6,840'/2085m; 7.5" precip; 125 frost-free days
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Can you get some chickens off Craigslist? Maybe some old layers or roosters that people are trying to get rid of? Since we put the layers in the orchard, we haven't had much trouble with grasshoppers.

 
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