Gardens are packed with diversity not only in plants, but also insects. Some of these insects can be very beneficial to the garden while others not so much. So when it comes to grasshoppers, are they good for the garden?
So are grasshoppers good for the garden? Grasshoppers are generally not good for the garden. Grasshoppers often feed on many of the plants growing in the garden and are therefore considered pests. While a few grasshoppers in the garden is usually no big deal, a handful of them can easily consume much of your garden in a matter of days.
Now that we’ve established that grasshoppers are more of a pest to have in the garden, you probably want to know the best way to get rid of them. In this article, we will discuss several highly effective methods for eliminating and controlling grasshoppers in the garden.
Are grasshoppers good for the garden?
Grasshoppers are herbivores so it’s best to keep them away from your garden. In fact, grasshoppers are known to consume several different types of common garden crops. Such crops include:
- Soy beans
When it comes to your garden, there is almost no plant a grasshopper won’t consume. However, there are some plants that grasshoppers tend to favor eating over others. Grasses such as clover, corn, alfalfa, soybeans and rice are among favorites for grasshoppers. (Hence their name: grasshoppers).
If you spot one or two grasshoppers in your garden, there’s usually no need to freak out. Simply remove said grasshoppers and move on. However, a handful of about 10 or more grasshoppers can easily consume large swaths of your garden in a matter of days.
When a few grasshoppers in the garden turns into a handful, it’s time to be concerned.
How to get rid of Grasshoppers in the Garden:
There are plenty of ways to get rid of grasshoppers. Some of them are more effective than others but, all of them are still valid ways of deterring grasshoppers nonetheless.
Plants that Deter Grasshoppers:
Everyone has a food that they absolutely hate. For grasshoppers, that food is garlic. The odor and taste of garlic is just something that grasshoppers can absolutely not stand.
What makes garlic so effective at repelling grasshoppers is the sulfur and allicin compounds found within its cloves. The compounds work together to interfere with a grasshopper’s sensory receptors. As a result, this will discomfort the grasshoppers and drive them away.
By planting garlic in and around your garden, grasshoppers will be far less likely to come near it and therefore, not feed on your plants.
In addition to garlic, there are several other plants and flowers that grasshoppers dislike as well. These plants and flowers include:
- Moss Rose
- Crepe Myrtle
- Chinese Brake Fern
One of the most effective ways of utilizing these plants is to surround your garden with them. This will act as a barrier between the grasshoppers and your garden making it that much more difficult for them to get to your plants.
One of the most effective ways of keeping grasshoppers at bay is through the use of neem oil. Neem oil is a completely safe and organic pesticide that works great at stopping not only grasshoppers, but countless other types of bugs and insects from eating your plants.
Neem oil works by acting as a hormone that eliminates an insects desire to eat. In turn, this leads said insects to die from starvation when exposed to the oil. Additionally, neem oil will also inhibit an insect’s ability to lay eggs and therefore reproduce.
If you want to keep grasshoppers off of your plants and out of your garden, I highly suggest utilizing neem oil.
While there are plenty of things that a grasshopper will eat, there are also plenty of things that will eat grasshoppers. Introducing natural predators in and around your garden is an effective and natural way of keeping grasshoppers under control.
There are many different kinds of animals that will eat grasshoppers. Some of the most common ones include:
- Ringneck Snakes
- Garter Snakes
By introducing or encouraging these animals to live close to your garden, they can help keep grasshopper population under control and therefore help in preventing your plants from being consumed.
A great way to attract birds to your garden is by placing some bird houses near it. This will encourage birds to live near your garden and feast on the grasshoppers as well as other harmful insects that might be eating your plants.
As we stated earlier, grasshoppers hate garlic. While planting garlic around your garden is a valid way of repelling grasshoppers, using a garlic spray can be much more effective; especially if you don’t have room to plant garlic.
Just like neem oil, garlic spray is completely safe and eco-friendly. Simply spray it on your plants and that’s it! For the next 3 to 4 weeks, grasshoppers won’t eat your plants when it’s covered in a pungent garlic odor.
Another great benefit of using garlic spray is that it can easily be made at home. All you need is:
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 quart of water
- 1 teaspoon of dish soap
- 1 Spray bottle
First, mince your garlic into small pieces. Next, bring 1 quart of water to a boil and add the minced garlic to the boiling water and let it steep for about 20 minutes.
After the garlic mixture is done steeping, take a spray bottle and fill up 5/6th of the bottle with water. Then, fill the rest of the bottle up with the garlic mixture.
Finally, add 1 teaspoon of dish soap to your spray bottle and give it a good shake to mix all the ingredients up. Your garlic spray pesticide is now ready for use.
Although carbaryl pesticide is highly effective at eliminating grasshoppers, it should only be used as a last resort. Carbaryl pesticide is a non organic pesticide that kills several different kinds of insects including grasshoppers.
Carbaryl Pesticide can kill over 500 different kinds of garden pests and can be used on most any type of vegetable or flower growing in the garden. Some of the common garden pests that carbaryl pesticide eliminates are:
- Cabbage Worms
- Japanese Beetles
- Squash Bugs
Overall, carbaryl pesticide is very effective and covers a wide range of insects and pests. Keep in mind however, this pesticide is non organic and can kill beneficial insects as well. Use it conservatively.
Overall, grasshoppers can be very destructive for your garden. However, now you are armed with a wide array of different methods for keeping grasshoppers out of your garden. Some of these methods are more effective than others, but feel free to use more than one method at once if that works best.