Controlling grasshoppers

By | Published Thursday, June 17, 2010

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Apparently we’ve had another favorable year for grasshoppers to hatch and develop. Egg hatching began in February and will probably continue through June in the North Texas counties. However, populations do appear to be spotty across Wise County.

If left untreated grasshoppers can cause severe damage to pastures in a short amount of time. Entomologists with Texas A&M usually advise to treat when you can count 15-20 grasshoppers per square yard.

Forage is currently in decent supply in Wise County and as long as we get rain, grasshoppers should remain in pastures and roadside ditches. However, when forage gets short, expect them to move into home landscapes where they will feed on shrubs, flowers and grasses.

If you’ve treated for grasshoppers in the past, you realize the importance of treating while they are small to prevent treating the adults later in the season. Once they become adults, they are able to migrate, making control much more difficult.

There are a number of products labeled for grasshopper control in pastures. Some products such as Malathion will provide a quick kill but offer no residual, while Sevin 805 will control grasshoppers and has some residual control for grasshoppers migrating into an area.

Be sure to read the label for grazing and haying restrictions. Good coverage is a must to achieve effective results; apply 12-15 gallons of water per acre to guarantee good coverage.

For home owners a carbaryl bait may be an option.

The following recipe has provided good results in orchards, fenced areas and around home landscapes.

1. 19 pounds of wheat bran

2. One quart of Sevin XLR

3. One gallon of molasses

4. Sufficient water to make a moist mash

5. Mix with rubber gloves

6. Spread mixture in 2 to 3 table spoon clumps

7. Apply bait to open areas (grasshoppers won’t be able to find the bait in tall grass or weeds)

8. Start applying bait when nymphs (young wingless grasshoppers) are observed.

To request a list of approved products for grasshopper control, call the Extension office at (940) 627-3341.

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