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Keep grasshoppers away from your garden buffet

Photo credit: KETK NBC NEWS
Monday, April 29, 2013 - 5:55pm

According to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, last year we had an overwhelming number of grasshoppers infest the East Texas area do to the extremely dry and warm conditions.

This year, it's expected to be no different. Between April and August grasshoppers will be coming out in full force. They feed on vegetables and flowers in your garden plaguing your plants and pastures.

Ashley Pellerin, Prairie View A&M Extension Agent, says, “In mass amounts they can be very devastating to ornamental gardens or large scale crops” Pellerine adds, we have the perfect climate for these jumping critters.

Jeri Kitchens works at House Nursery, LTD. in Tyler. She is a gardener and plant lover, and not too fond of grasshoppers.

Kitchen’s suggests some natural techniques that she has used to keep them at bay, “In a spray bottle, you can use Palmolive liquid dish soap, about a quarter of a bottle, and the rest water, you can spray that on your roses and other bedding plants.” She also suggests some other house hold items, to keep all bugs away, “One table spoon of canola oil, and a squirt of ivory liquid soap, in a spray bottle, really does help control the bugs, spray it on your plants, spray it in and around your planting areas."

Pellerin also recommends to use insect barriers, “What we call ‘Geo-Textile’ covers, they are basically a cheese-cloth type of material, and they go over your plants, and that allows the sunlight, to come in but it doesn't trap the heat, but it keeps the bugs out."Birds are actually natural predators to grasshoppers, so anything that attracts the birds will probably also be a natural defense against grasshoppers."

While there is no way to get rid of the grasshoppers from your garden for good, there are some ways to keep them at bay, without using pesticides.

But, if you choose to use chemicals Pellerine says make sure to use a residual pesticide, for they are more effective.


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