There are many species of grasshoppers around the world.
Over twenty thousand have been identified and over one thousand exist in the United States alone.
One of the biggest is the Lubber Grasshopper. They both strong jumpers and strong flyers.
Though they don’t bite intentionally, they have been known to “chew” a person or two during migration or prolonged contact.
Lubber Grasshoppers are strong insects with a body well protected and sight which enables them to identify predators from afar. Closely related to crickets, these ferocious and crop damaging pests know how to “sing” and “chirp”.
This article will detail some basic biology of the lubber grasshopper, list why they are a pest and then offer solutions on how to keep them away from your gardens and plants.
GIANT LUBBER GRASSHOPPERS!
Lubber Grasshoppers are HUGE. They are great jumpers and most species can fly as well. They have a tough outer-skin which affords them great protection.
Grasshoppers vary in color. This will depend largely on local environments. Dry arid environments tend to produce more species which are tan to brown in color. Moist, succulent terrain will have more green grasshoppers. However, many species will start a season green and turn brown as the summer lags on into fall.
Most grasshoppers including the lubber are great songsters. Males will use sound during courtship and so distinctive is their voice that many people are able to identify species by their song!
All grasshoppers have well developed ears which enable their sound to find the right target from great distances. It is clear their use of sound keeps them close together which is essential for species development and survival.
Most lubber grasshoppers will die by winter and start from eggs the following year. For yards with existing problems, expect seeing them in March.
If you allow them to survive, they’ll molt a few times through the summer and eventually reach adulthood late in the season.
Once they mate, females will use their ovipositors to lay eggs in plants or the ground, depending on the species. This egg laying process causes great damage to plants. Eggs will then lie dormant through the winter and young will emerge at the beginning of the new growing season the following year.
GRASSHOPPERS EAT EVERYTHING!
Lubber grasshoppers are worst known for the damage they do while eating. They have strong chewing mouth parts along with ferocious appetites.
Lubber grasshoppers have been known to clear acres of crops, wild terrain and urban landscaping. At times they appear to eat whatever is in their path.
There is a certain feeling of helplessness many farmers have felt when they see the great bands of grasshoppers descending upon their crops. Lubber grasshoppers act quickly and will sometimes eat entire plants; other times they ravish randomly. Small local populations are easy to control; large migrating locusts are difficult to stop but preventative steps can be taken to minimize loss.
HOW TO CONTROL THE MASSIVE LUBBER GRASSHOPPER
The key to successful lubber grasshopper control is the timing of treatments. The timing of your treatments is dependent on which type of grasshopper problem you are experiencing.
If you are an avid gardener which experiences grasshopper damage and activity every year, you most likely have a local population which needs to be eliminated. This can be done by applying granules to your turf in the spring and then liquid spray as you see nymphs emerging. The granules will help control developing young; the liquid will kill off active larvae the granules missed.
If you are in a region which generally has very little activity but migrating locusts typically find their way to your property from time to time, immediate action will be needed to minimize damage and followup treatments recommended to prevent population establishments. This can be handled with liquids only which will quickly kill and control the active numbers but also repel new ones off treated surfaces.
LAWN GRANULES FOR LUBBER GRASSHOPPERS
Throughout the spring, summer and fall, apply MAXXTHOR SG to your turf for season long prevention of nesting lubber grasshoppers. These slow releasing granules will kill off young nymph lubber grasshoppers as they emerge from eggs. Gardeners and property owners who have had an ongoing problem with lubber grasshoppers need to make special note; by treating early in the season you will successfully break the cycle which is having a negative impact on your plants and landscape.
Maxxthor is easy to apply and can be spread with a HAND SPREADER or using our “baggie” method detailed on our product page here:
Now if you’re in a dry spell or generally arid part of the country, water them in following application. The granules will release into the ground providing control of many turf pests which emerge in the spring.
Use 6 lb’s for every 5,000 sq/ft of grass, mulch or flower gardens. Retreat every 60 days for prevention; every 30 days when infested.
Any decent fertilizer spreader can be used to make the application; just make sure it’s uniform and complete.
As the spring turns to summer, watch local lubber grasshopper activity. If you treated in the spring, you should see a decrease in any emerging but if any are coming up, you’ll need to spray using our Maxxthor below.
BEST LUBBER GRASSHOPPER SPRAY
If you have a history of lubber grasshoppers arriving during the summer, spraying your plants before they arrive should head off most of the damage. Lubber grasshoppers may like to eat but they don’t like the taste of certain chemicals. Treat ahead of their arrival with MAXXTHOR EC. Expect to see some land on treated plants but they will die in 1-2 if they don’t leave.
Maxxthor is super active; both fast acting and highly repellent on grasshoppers. The following “short” video summarizes why its so good:
If treating a small area, you can use a PUMP SPRAYER to spray. Add .25 oz of Maxxthor per gallon of water and use this mixture to cover up to 1,000 sq/ft of turf, plants, shrubs or trees. Treat as needed when active; this might be once a week during a severe season.
If you have a yard 5,000 sq/ft or more to treat, use a HOSE END SPRAYER. With our unit, you only need to add 1 oz of Maxxthor to the sprayer and then fill the sprayer to the 5 gallon line with water. Next, hook it to your garden hose and as you spray, the water being pumped out will suck out the mixture from the sprayer and deliver the prescribed dose to your plants.
Treatments may only be needed every week or two but if you are experiencing a massive onslaught of lubber grasshoppers, don’t be afraid to treat every few days until the initial wave subsides. Once activity slows, expect to find some damage but most importantly, be sure there are none around able to lay eggs and get established.
ORGANIC SPRAY FOR LUBBER GRASSHOPPERS
Lastly, we have one organic concentrate strong enough to kill lubber grasshoppers. It actually works well on tough, hard shelled insects. Known as MULTIPURPOSE INSECT KILLER, its approved for organic gardening and has just one day to harvest when sprayed on fruit or vegetable plants.
Mix 6 oz per gallon of water and use the mixture for up to 500 sq/ft of garden plant foliage. Treat as needed during the growing season and be sure to spray after dinner, just before dusk. One quart of concentrate will make up to 5 gallons of mixed solution and cover up to 3,000 sq/ft.
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