The Eastern Lubber Grasshopper is a familiar pest to most homeowners in central Florida. Seemingly in days, these creatures transform from small, kind of cute, black bugs to enormous red and yellow plant eating machines. Once they mature to full size, it’s difficult to get rid of them, and since they are poisonous to birds and other mammals they don’t have any natural predators to speak of. So what is the best pest control method to contain them? The answers might surprise you.
Catch And Kill
If you’re the least bit squeamish, go right ahead and skip down to the next option. A highly popular option for getting rid of the Eastern Lubber Grasshopper is to catch them by hand and then dunk them in a bucket of soapy water. The one caveat to this plan is that the same feature that makes them poisonous to birds also makes them irritating to human skin. So, if you think you’re brave enough to try and catch one by hand, make sure you’re wearing gloves at the time.
Remove Their Food Source
Another pest control method that you may like to try is simply removing their food source from your yard. The grasshopper likes to munch on any number of different plants, but are particularly drawn to your garden and the weedy areas in your yard. Keep your lawn, plants, and trees trimmed nicely so as not to create a comfortable habitat for them, and consider covering your garden with a screen with holes small enough that the grasshopper cannot pass through.
Eliminate The Young
While pest control chemicals are ineffective on the full-grown grasshopper, they can be effective in eliminating the babies. Insecticides like carbaryl, bifenthrin or permethrin are generally effective as long as they make direct contact with the insect. Be careful when using these products that you don’t damage the surrounding plants, and when all else fails, call a professional to help! If you are able to identify the location where the mother grasshopper has laid her eggs, you can bore a hole into the ground so that the eggs don’t eventually hatch. This nest is often visible because of the foamy froth that binds the eggs together.
No matter which method you choose, ridding your yard of the Eastern Lubber Grasshopper is a serious undertaking and may be the only thing standing in between you and a healthy garden. In central Florida, we may go years seeing very few of them only to be bombarded the next year with what feels like an invasion, so stay alert and ready to try your next method of attack from the invasion of the Eastern Lubber Grasshopper. If you should need our assistance managing this or any other pest control matter, contact us today.