AG NEWS

Treat grasshoppers to prevent damage

By Todd Vineyard | Published Wednesday, June 18, 2014

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 North Texas. 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 to 20 grasshoppers per square yard.

Watch for grasshoppers in your pastures and 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:

  • Prevathon by DuPont is safe. There’s no signal word on the label. It’s effective and has significant residual effects on grasshoppers and fall armyworms both. No pesticide applicators license is required to use it, and there are no haying or grazing restrictions, only a four-hour re-entry interval after application.
  • Malathion will provide a quick kill but offers no residual effects.
  • Sevin 805 will control grasshoppers and has some residual control for grasshoppers migrating into an area. n Mustang Max is another good option for forages and hay production. Be sure to read the label for grazing and haying restrictions. Good coverage is a must to achieve effective results. Apply 12 to 15 gallons of water per acre to guarantee good coverage.

For homeowners, a carbaryl bait may be an option. The following recipe has provided good results in orchards, fence rows and around home landscapes.

CARBARYL BAIT

19 pounds of wheat bran
One quart of Sevin XLR
One gallon of molasses
Sufficient water to make a moist mash
Mix with rubber gloves
Spread mixture in 2 to 3 table spoon clumps

Apply bait to open areas (Grasshoppers won’t be able to find the bait in tall grass or weeds.) Start applying bait when nymphs (young wingless grasshoppers) are observed.

For information, call the Wise County Extension office at 940-627-3341.

Todd Vineyard is a Wise County Extension agent.

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