Trust us, you never want grasshoppers anywhere near your home. They’re arguably the most destructive pest you can have in your lawn or garden, capable of undoing all the time, effort, and money you’ve invested in your outdoor space in a matter of hours.
For context, grasshoppers commonly eat 50% of their weight in a single day, with studies showing that grasshoppers eat ¼ of the total available plant material in the Western U.S. Pretty, shocking right!? In fact, estimates indicate that only 6-7 adult grasshoppers per square yard on a 10 acre plot eat as much plant life as a fully grown cow.
Whether you’ve already spotted grasshoppers lurking in your garden or you simply want to make sure that never happens, the following natural tips will help you protect your precious crops and flowers from voracious grasshoppers and their infamous damage.
USE FLOATING ROW COVERS
Floating row covers are essentially just lightweight rows of material gardeners use to shield their crops from weather and pest damage. As you might expect, these can help protect your flowers and veggies from grasshoppers, too. For best results, employ floating row covers starting in the earliest days of spring, just as the grasshoppers begin to hatch and emerge.
Made from fossilized sea organisms, diatomaceous earth (aka DE) is a natural pest control tool popular among gardeners. This highly effective, powdery insecticide is sharp and angular at the microscopic level, damaging any bugs that come into contact with it, causing them to die via dehydration.
To kill and repel grasshoppers, dust vulnerable plants and other high traffic areas with a light layer of DE. Then simply wait for it to take effect.
TILL IN SPRING
Laid near the end of summer, Grasshopper eggs persist in the soil through winter and finally begin to hatch in early spring. In addition to improving the health and productivity of your garden, tilling in fall and/or spring can help disrupt this cycle, preventing any of the eggs from producing more ravenous grasshoppers.
Used in much the same way as diatomaceous earth, salt-less all-purpose flour can be sprinkled on plant life to deter and kill grasshoppers. While DE works via dehydration, flour works by clogging up the grasshoppers' mouth parts, usually leading to starvation.
WELCOME BENEFICIAL PREDATORS
Grasshoppers might eat a lot, but there are a lot of things that eat them. Welcoming natural grasshopper predators like chickens, guinea hens, and common lawn birds into your yard can substantially shrink an ongoing grasshopper problem. Installing bird feeders is an easy way to help this process along without purchasing any fowl of your own.
Frogs, toads, and lizards are also known to munch on grasshoppers. So If you have a natural body of water nearby or a lawn friendly to amphibians, introducing a few reptiles into your outdoor ecosystem is another effective approach.
MAINTAIN A HEALTHY LAWN BY MINIMIZING PESTS
Bottom line: The healthier your lawn and garden, the less vulnerable it will be to damaging pests, grasshoppers included. To kill and repel unwanted bugs—including harmful pests like ticks, mosquitoes, and fleas—spray your entire yard and garden each month with family-safe PCO Choice. We also suggest broadcasting Cedar Granules throughout your lawn and garden for additional natural pest protection.
Because PCO Choice is plant-based and pet-safe, you and your family can enjoy your lawn immediately after application. No downtime necessary.