How To Get Rid Of Florida Grasshoppers
Managing The Destructive Nature Of Florida Grasshoppers Can Become A Serious Challenge To Homeowners And Their Landscaping
When it comes to your landscaping, Florida grasshoppers are some of the most destructive insects to plant life. Despite their voracious appetites, grasshoppers are actually considered beneficial to the environment. Even though they consume massive amounts of vegetation, they end up fertilizing the soil with their droppings. They are also a rich source of food for other wildlife such as birds, rodents, frogs, snakes and in certain cultures they are considered a delicacy for humans. Yikes!
Along with their positive attributes come a host of negatives, especially if you pride yourself on having a beautiful landscaped yard or garden. They are considered a farmer's worst nightmare as they can completely destroy crops. They can be a huge nuisance to Tampa Bay homeowners as they can invade flower and vegetable gardens, shrubs and even decimate your lawn. If they aren't managed properly, grasshoppers can do some real damage to your home's plant life. As a homeowner in Florida, it is important to know how to get rid of these pests and how to prevent them from coming back.
What Are Florida Grasshoppers?
Did you know that there are over 20,000 different species of grasshopper across the globe? Florida is host to about 70 of those species, with the most common species being the Eastern Lubber Grasshopper. These inspects are herbivores and consume a wide variety of plants. Some species only eat grass, but most will eat just about anything with leaves.
They are extremely active during the months from Spring to Fall here in Florida and are the preferred prey for many lizards, snakes, spiders, birds, raccoons, opossums and other animals. Grasshoppers are an excellent source of protein and help to sustain important animal populations in the area.
What Does The Eastern Lubber Grasshopper Look Like?
There are a wide variety of species of grasshopper in Florida. Some are green in color, while others are brown and look similar to crickets. However, the Eastern Lubber is beautifully decorated with bright yellow and orange tones, along with black markings. They also have large strong hind legs that allow them to jump long distances. Young lubbers are often all black in color until they develop their markings.
How To Eliminate Florida Grasshoppers
Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to completely eliminate grasshoppers 100%. However, there are ways to manage them and prevent them from infesting your yard.
Since grasshoppers are a rich source of food for many animals, we strongly recommend that you avoid using over the counter chemical insecticides as these can poison local wildlife populations.
If you have a garden that you want to keep safe, we suggest regular tilling of the soil around plants to destroy grasshopper eggs. Covering your garden with row covers is also effective against lubbers crawling up into your plants.
There are natural environmentally safe insecticides that can be used as well. Look for insecticides containing entomopathogenic fungi, which attacks grasshoppers and other destructive pests by acting as a parasite.
Another less invasive way to help keep Florida grasshoppers at bay is by professionally treating and fertilizing your lawn and keeping the grass mowed on a regular basis. Keeping the grass mowed and treated will deter grasshoppers from entering your home's area due to a lack of adequate food. Short grass also keeps them exposed to predators.
Other natural methods include sprinkling leaves with flour. The flour creates a sticky paste inside the grasshopper's mouth preventing them from eating. You can also encourage predators. Consider installing a couple bird feeders to encourage birds to feed on the insects. If you're really committed chickens are excellent for reducing grasshopper populations and provide the perfect fertilizer for your garden.
Call Super D Pest Control For Professional Help With Florida Grasshoppers
Overall, grasshoppers are really good for the environment. However, populations have risen over the last couple of years and if left unchecked by homeowners, they can do some real damage to landscaping and gardens in Florida. Getting them under control involves regular treatment with baits and prevention methods such as keeping your Florida lawn healthy. If you have problems with grasshoppers, give the pest control professionals at Super D Pest Control a call at (727) 433-5310 today for a free consultation or contact us on our website below.