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Grasshopper Infestation  RSS feed

 
Jade Crowley
Posts: 25
Location: Southeastern Colorado
books greening the desert
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I all of a sudden have a huge grasshopper problem. They have killed over 50% of my garden in just 2 days. I will admit that it wasn't thriving before but its really not happy now. In an attempt to save it I have been spraying for the past 2 days with neem, sal suds, rosemary combo. I am wondering what else I have for options? My soil isnt the best so sometime this week I was going to look into getting some compost tea from a place that sells it. The neem really worked good last year, but this year there are still so many grasshoppers even after I sprayed everything twice. I hate touching them so I can't pick them off unfortunately. I have chickens and ducks I can put in the garden but I worry they will eat the plants and not the grasshoppers. Thanks!
 
Sebastian Köln
Posts: 98
Location: Germany · Schleswig-Holstein · Eutin
2
bike toxin-ectomy
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How about letting the ducks or chicken into the garden and observe what happens?
Depending on their normal food they might like to eat some protein.
Once they are filled up, change their appetite or the grasshoppers are all eaten up, you take the ducks/chickens out of the garden.

If you would like to keep the tasty plants (and the grasshoppers left any), leaving the ducks and chickens unattended in the garden is probably not wise.

Or you could try to put individual ducks/chickens into the garden and keep those that prefer the grasshoppers over the plants…
 
Jade Crowley
Posts: 25
Location: Southeastern Colorado
books greening the desert
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I had never even thought about letting the chickens in, I have been fighting to keep them out for weeks, just finally got them completely fenced out and the grasshoppers took over. I would venture to say its connected. The ducks were acquired with the intention of putting them in the garden but I have read they will kill the little seedlings, however the grasshoppers have done a mighty fine job of that themselves so I guess it no longer matters. So I let the chickens in the garden with supervision for about an hour today and they ate a ton of grasshoppers. As soon as they lost interest in the grasshoppers I kicked them out. The ducks may take up semi-permanent residence there if they can behave. You may be on to something here. Thanks!!
 
Sebastian Köln
Posts: 98
Location: Germany · Schleswig-Holstein · Eutin
2
bike toxin-ectomy
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We have two runner ducks and they are real gourmets.

This years menu for them:
1) earthworms
2) young and tasty slugs
3) young goutweed leaves
4) low hanging berries
5) high hanging berries… they can reach up to 60cm ~ 2ft
6) various lettuces
7) strawberries
8) poppy leaves
9) some bean leaves

(I didn't try the first two)

I had to move the kitchen compost into a barrel because they kept eating the moldy stuff with obvious consequences to their health.

So… I would not assume that the ducks will behave.
Either keep an eye on them or plant far more then you want to eat yourself… The eat a lot!
 
Todd Parr
pollinator
Posts: 1236
Location: Wisconsin, zone 4
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Jade Crowley wrote:I had never even thought about letting the chickens in, I have been fighting to keep them out for weeks, just finally got them completely fenced out and the grasshoppers took over. I would venture to say its connected. The ducks were acquired with the intention of putting them in the garden but I have read they will kill the little seedlings, however the grasshoppers have done a mighty fine job of that themselves so I guess it no longer matters. So I let the chickens in the garden with supervision for about an hour today and they ate a ton of grasshoppers. As soon as they lost interest in the grasshoppers I kicked them out. The ducks may take up semi-permanent residence there if they can behave. You may be on to something here. Thanks!!


I sometimes let my chickens out just for an hour or so before dark so they can fill up on bugs and they put themselves back into the pen as soon as it starts getting dark. If you are there that time of day it works pretty well.
 
Galadriel Freden
Posts: 363
Location: West Yorkshire, UK
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When I was a kid, we had ducks one year and by far their favorite thing to eat was grasshoppers. They were allowed to free range and they didn't bother the vegetables much (they ate big red tomatoes if they saw them, but otherwise left most things alone). They ate all the grasshoppers in our big yard, and we used to go grasshopper hunting in friends' yards for them every evening, and stuff a quart jar full. They learned to come running when we banged the jar lid: they were crazy about those grasshoppers.

I don't know if all ducks will behave the same, but if the grasshoppers are killing the plants anyway, it really can't hurt to try. Good luck anyway!
 
Jade Crowley
Posts: 25
Location: Southeastern Colorado
books greening the desert
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So far they are behaving but have only been in twice. I expect them to eat some plants I just don't want them to destroy the whole garden. I like the idea of putting them in later at night Todd, I will try that when I am home tomorrow night. So I saw in the local paper that our extension office has been flooded with calls about grasshoppers and how to control them. Its going to be a bad year. They obviously said use chemicals which I refuse to do but at least I know its the entire area getting hit and not just my garden.
 
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