Each year it is a different pest that seems to cause
gardeners problems. Sometimes it’s chinch bugs, sometimes
mites but right now it is big growing grasshoppers. Actually
you have to admit they are kind of cute. When small, and
they do start off small, they are black with red or orange
to yellow stripes. Then they have to grow up.
Picture: Tom MacCubbin
What you may be seeing is the lubber grasshopper.
This is a good name as the grasshoppers when large just seem
to waddle along. When they grow up, they are several inches
long and a black, brown and yellow color. They are lots
bigger than the little squirts many are reporting and a much
All these stages have one thing in
common. They are hungry. They eat mainly crinums, amaryllis
and similar plants but can move over to other ornamentals
and citrus foliage. I guess most just want to know how to
get them under control.
Well, when young they are
best hand picked and destroyed. Some do the grasshopper
stomp and other dunk them in a container of rubbing alcohol.
If they are way too numerous, and some say they are, you can
use the insecticide Sevin. Do follow the label instructions.
What happens to the lubber grasshoppers that sneak
by? Well they lay eggs during the late summer or fall which
remain in the ground until next spring to start the next