Friday, June 26, 2015

Grasshoppers Feeding on Leaves and Flowers

A large green grasshopper sitting on the stem of a plant
Grasshopper on Guara stem
(Photo: NMSU-PDC)
Featured diagnosis: Grasshoppers. If you're a gardener, you're probably all too familiar with this annoying pest. Grasshoppers invade yards, gardens, and greenhouses, munching on tender foliage and flowers, leaving chewed and tattered plant tissue in their wake. Usually, the damage is relatively inconsequential; however when the insect is present in high numbers, damage can be significant - small seedlings may be completely eaten to the ground! Pesticides are usually not recommended for home gardeners as they only affect the grasshoppers they contact and do not protect from new invaders. These materials may also have an unintended negative effect on beneficial insects. Home gardeners who wish to protect their plants should cover them with insect netting until the grasshoppers are gone.

A composite photo showing tattered leaves of a basil plant eaten by a grasshopper.
Feeding damage on basil caused by grasshoppers
(Photo: NMSU-PDC)

A large brown grasshopper sitting on top of a flower
Grasshopper and feeding
damage on an orchid
(Photo: NMSU-PDC)

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