Preventing Grasshoppers Next Year

The more diversity you have in your home landscape the more predators of grasshoppers will be on the scene to help keep the problem down to a minimum.

Animal Predators
Many garden animals take delight in munching on grasshoppers. Baltimore orioles, bluebirds, crows, starlings, sparrows, mockingbirds, catbirds, meadowlarks, hawks, and brown thrashers eat them. Grasshoppers have been enjoyed by chickens, guinea fowl, skunks, snakes, toads, and spiders. Ground squirrels, field mice, and other rodents eat the adults and also dig for their eggs.

Insect Predators
Blister beetles, grasshopper beeflies, ground beetles, and red grasshopper mites attack the eggs of grasshoppers. Flesh flies, tangle-veined flies, hairworms, robber flies, nematodes, and tachinid flies will eat nymphs and adult grasshoppers.

Grasshoppers have several natural enemies including birds, rodents, spiders, skunks, several species of flies and hairworms (nematodes). Hairworms are long and whitish and cause sterility in females as they feed on body contents. As the worms complete their growth inside the grasshopper, they kill the insect by forcing their way through the body wall. Grasshoppers ingest hairworms as they feed upon leaves where hairworm females have laid eggs.

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