Grasshoppers are here, and they mean business. Finding easy and natural ways to repel and prevent grasshoppers will help save your garden. While your cats and dogs may be having a few for a snack, you’ll have to get creative to find other ways to repel grasshoppers naturally.
Are Grasshoppers Bad for the Garden?
For seasoned gardeners, this is probably not news to you: grasshoppers can devastate gardens and crops. They eat holes in leaves, which may not sound like the worst thing, but when you consider that they eat half of their body weight every day””it can spell major trouble for your precious plants!
Grasshopper? Or Imposter?
Before plotting revenge on the grasshoppers in your yard, you’ll want to make sure that you’re actually targeting the ones doing the damage. There are a few imposters””some are harmless and others are responsible for large-scale damage. Identifying the bug culprit, grasshopper or not, will help guide your efforts to find a natural repellent.
Katydids“”Katy did what?! Katy didn’t do anything, probably. Katydids, also known as bush crickets, are completely green and shaped like leaves. Katydids are gentle insects that you likely won’t notice causing issues in your garden, although they have a few favourites they like to nibble on.
Locusts””While grasshoppers are destructive, locusts strike fear into the hearts of gardeners and crop-owners everywhere. They can be quite hard to differentiate from grasshoppers visually, but locusts travel in swarms, devouring everything in sight.
Crickets””Crickets are quite easy to distinguish from grasshoppers. Crickets come out at night, sing the song of their people, and are usually much darker, to blend in with shade and shadows.
Natural Grasshopper Repellents
If you’re looking for a way to get rid of grasshoppers, you can, of course, use pesticides, but we have evidence that grasshoppers can become pesticide-resistant over time. Try some of these natural repellent methods, and let us know what works for you.
Trap With Long Grass
Grasshoppers thrive in long grasses. Planting a patch of long grass (or leaving an area unmowed) creates a perfect habitat for them, which will make it easier for you to apply the repel treatments.
Till Your Soil
Tilling your soil is a great preventative for natural grasshopper repellent. Till your soil in September, and grasshoppers won’t lay their eggs in it for next season. When you disrupt the earth, they take that as a sign that their eggs won’t be safe there. Then it becomes your neighbour’s problem!
While they haven’t made a box-office smash about an attractive grasshopper vampire, you can repel grasshoppers with garlic! Purchase pre-made spray or make your own by blending two bulbs of garlic and ten cups of water. Bring to a boil, then let it sit for at least 8 hours before use. Dilute the mixture with three parts of water, add to a spray bottle, and spray the leaves, including the underside of the plants you want to protect. One whiff of that garlic and those bugs won’t want to “˜suck your plants’ any longer.
Ah, nature’s repellent: introducing natural predators to your garden can help bring balance to your garden and prevent it from being completely overrun by grasshoppers. Grasshoppers have many predators, including chickens and guinea fowl. Still, if you’re not interested in recreating the movie Chicken Run, you can set up a bird feeder to attract wild birds that love grasshopper snacks. Be sure to leave spiders that you see in your yard; they’ll help take down a few grasshoppers too.
A Dusting of Flour
Sprinkling some all-purpose flour on the leaves of your plants can effectively and naturally repel grasshoppers. When they consume the flour, it sticks to their mouth and insides, and they can no longer eat. Be sure not to use any flours with added salt, which can seriously harm your plants.
I hope you find these natural grasshopper repellent methods for Edmonton helpful. Let me know what works for you, and be sure to come to visit us at Salisbury Greenhouse for more advice on troubleshooting pest and plant problems.