I have thousands of tin... #193464
Asked June 23, 2014, 10:11 AM EDT
I have thousands of tiny little baby grasshoppers that are eating almost everything in my perennial/annual garden. Is there something I can safely spray to get rid of them? Thank you for your help.
Hennepin County Minnesota
Thank you for the question. I have copied University of Minnesota Extension Entomologist, Jeff Hahn's article on grasshoppers and their control here:
Watch out for grasshoppers
Jeffrey Hahn, Extension Entomologist
Published in Yard & Garden Line News, July 15, 2006
Grasshopper damage on lily.
Photo credit: Jeff Hahn
Grasshoppers can be pests in home gardens. Of the different species
that occur in Minnesota, there are only a few kinds that are
particularly common in the home landscape. These would include the
twostriped grasshopper, the redlegged grasshopper, and the differential
Grasshoppers spend the winter as eggs that were deposited into the
ground the previous year. These eggs are banana-shaped and laid in a
cluster. These eggs are usually deposited in fields, preferably in
undisturbed sites. From May until mid-June, these eggs hatch into
immature nymphs. These young grasshoppers look just like adults except
that they are much smaller and lack wings.
Grasshoppers damage plants by chewing holes in the leaves.
Eventually the whole leaf or even the entire plant can be consumed.
They prefer to eat grasses and are commonly found in prairies and
meadows. However, gardens are also subject to grasshopper feeding
where essentially any green plant is fair game. If populations are
high enough even houses aren't safe as grasshoppers can damage nylon
screens and masonite siding.
Managing grasshoppers can be very challenging. Exclusion is an
option, although it probably isn't practical for your entire garden.
You can protect valued plants by using floating row covers made of
spun fabric. Be careful with plastic row covers as grasshoppers have
been known chew through them. You may also consider protecting your
plants with metal screening.
Insecticides are an option, although the more numerous grasshoppers
are the more difficult it is to manage them. When you treat garden
plants, they will still endure some damage before grasshoppers are
killed. Even if you succeed with the grasshoppers in your garden,
they are very mobile and more can fly into your yard. If you are
finding grasshoppers on many plants, you may need to be selective in
which you plants you try to protect. There are a variety of garden
insecticides available, including products containing esfenvalerate,
bifenthrin, permethrin, deltamethrin, cyfluthrin, acephate, or
carbaryl. Be sure that the product you wish to use is labeled for the
plants you want to treat.