Of course ordering poultry now that the hoppers are bad is probably not the best plan, but now that you know when they'll arrive (more or less) you might consider ordering chicks next year to take advantage of the free food.
mick mclaughlin wrote:
Would really appreciate some real help on this problem!
Spray poison on everything?
But seriously, next year might not be such a bad grasshopper year, they tend to come in cycles. This is a particularly bad grasshopper year for many people. You might try guinea fowl next year.
"In some areas of Australia we have so many grasshoppers that people can’t garden without the pest-destroying help of guinea fowl" - Bill Mollison
I don't recall where, but I read in some Mollison document that an oversupply of grasshoppers means you have an undersupply of ground birds.
Mick, I have friends around here that do organics and swear by this stuff for killing grasshoppers. I have never had them so bad that diatomaceous earth didnt take care of it. Semaspore Grasshopper Control http://www.planetnatural.com/site/semaspore-grasshopper-bait.html .
Thank you, KAthryn!
Looks like it might be too late this year, but at least I have hopes for next summer!
Also, perhaps planting a lot of what they really love, and perhaps they will gobble that down primarily and eat other things less? This will also help the birds find them!
One idea that seems promising, but rather expensive, is to build a chicken run that surrounds the garden completely - that way, any bugs entering the garden have to pass through a chicken barrier. (Of course, some will just fly over, so I don't know how well it would work in reality.)
Cats love to eat grasshoppers, but that would be a heck of a lot of cats needed.
Lots of peoples around the world like to eat grasshoppers. I wonder, what is the best way to catch/gather them? Would you use a net? If you tried to fill a basket with them, wouldn't they just jump out? How do people who see them as a blessing go about harvesting them? (Perhaps the same techniques would work for getting rid of them?)
I wonder...since theres a colour that attracts grasshoppers, there might be a colour that deters them....
Doesn't geoff lawton say something like; if you have a grasshopper problem you have a duck deficiency.
I had a serious problem one year out of 12 with them, don't know why they were so bad that time, but it seems to me that it was very dry that year. When I was young, large grasshoppers were always along the road where it was hot and dry. I wonder if spraying down your plants would move them out long enough to get row covers on them?
While you are searching for a solution, find some kids, put them to work with a butterfly net and put those bad boys in the freezer for the chickens this winter.
Suzie wrote:I had a serious problem one year out of 12 with them, don't know why they were so bad that time, but it seems to me that it was very dry that year.
Grasshoppers are very different when conditions favor social behavior, as opposed to when conditions favor solitary movement.
Sometimes they even change their morphology.
I did some more quick research and it sounds as if Locusts are what is eating Mick out of house and home since they are so bad for him this year.
Grasshoppers can wipe out seedlings and sprouts. We planted about 1200 row feet of carrots, the germination rate was high, but few of the carrot plants grew an inch before they were consumed by grasshoppers.
Floating row covers are effective insect protection. They simply work.
They do wear out over time but don't biodegrade well. They are an industrial input that cannot be produced on the farm. Are they compatible with permaculture?
Mangudai wrote:Floating row covers are effective insect protection...They do wear out over time but don't biodegrade well. They are an industrial input that cannot be produced on the farm. Are they compatible with permaculture?
I'd be interested to see a polymer scientist's thoughts on small-scale production of electrospun nonwoven fabric, out of rayon, polylactic acid, or other biomass-derived semi-synthetics.
IIRC, rayon would be more expensive, more UV resistant, faster to decompose, and potentially require some complicated handling of byproducts. Ultrafine rayon might not resist insect damage as well as slightly coarser fully-synthetic fibers, but I don't know.
Found an organic cotton version that even lists it for pest control. I know this is from the UK and cotton, but this could show an alternative for the row covers, though I would prefer a more durable hemp or bamboo.
I am also looking up hemp mosquito netting fabric, which I can find already made into mosquito nets, but would like it on the bolt. I am sure that this would be a no brainer if we could all grow and process hemp without any regulations in this country, instead of having to import so much of it.
Industrial ramie is bad for the environment, because the fiber is so hard to ret from the bast.
The traditional method is to weave thin strips of bast into work clothes. This makes for extremely tough, rot-resistant work clothes, and every other sort of labor you do, especially washing silt out of the cloth, also works toward retting the fibers free of one another.
After a few years of use, the cloth can be taken apart and used to make things like fishnets.
It's lots of work to do everything traditionally, but I think mechanized operations for carding recycled fibers, spinning fine thread, and weaving gauze could be made sustainable.