As a child, you may have enjoyed spying on the grasshoppers in your parents’ yard or garden. But as you’ve gotten older, you’ve likely noticed that while grasshoppers can be fun to watch, they are incredibly damaging to yards and gardens.
This is because grasshoppers eat an exorbitant amount of plant life and vegetation, consuming up to 50% of their body weight a day. If left unchecked, a grasshopper infestation can make it impossible to grow almost anything in your yard.
So, what kills grasshoppers, and what other forms of grasshopper control are available to you? That’s what we’re here to find out!
What You Should Know About Grasshoppers
Though they can be destructive, grasshoppers do play an important role in our ecosystem.
What are grasshoppers?
Grasshoppers are a type of insect belonging to the order Orthoptera. There are about 12,000 known species of grasshoppers, and they live all over the world except in Antarctica and a few isolated islands.
Grasshoppers range in size from 1/10 inch (2 mm) to 2 inches (50 mm), although they’re usually less than 1 inch long. They have strong hind legs that allow them to leap or jump when disturbed or frightened. They also have internal ears that can detect sound waves in the air, even if it’s just the sound of your footsteps approaching!
Regardless of their species, grasshoppers are divided into two groups. These groups include long-horned grasshoppers and short-horned grasshoppers.
Long-horned grasshoppers have a very specific life cycle that begins with the female laying eggs in a mass that looks like a yellowish ball. Once these eggs hatch, they go through several stages of development before becoming adult grasshoppers. The males usually die after mating, but the females live longer lives and often mate again, laying more eggs.
The life cycle of these grasshoppers is different from most other insects because it takes longer to reach maturity. The eggs are laid by the end of summer or early fall, but many do not hatch until spring. After hatching, there are five instar stages before adulthood is reached. The nymphs resemble adults except for their smaller size and lack of wings. After reaching adulthood, it may take another two months for them to become sexually mature enough to reproduce.
The short-horned grasshopper has a similar life cycle to the long-horned grasshopper but is smaller than its counterpart and has shorter antennae. In addition, and as with all grasshoppers, females are larger than males.
Short-horned grasshoppers have a characteristic “U” shape on their back, which is called a pronotal groove. This shape allows them to easily jump into flight. The species also has large hind wings that allow them to fly when they feel threatened by predators or are looking for food.
Short-Horned grasshoppers are different from long-horned grasshoppers because they have shorter antennae and a shorter ovipositor (which is the organ used to lay eggs). They also differ in coloration, with short horns having more yellow and orange colorations than long-horns
Some of the most common types of grasshoppers you might come across include:
- The Meadow Grasshopper
- The Katydid
- The Shield-Back Katydid
- The Cone-Headed Grasshopper
- The Spur-Throated Grasshopper
- The Locust
- The Lubber Grasshopper
- The Migratory Grasshopper
- The Pygmy Grasshopper
- The Slant-faced Grasshopper
- And The Band-winged Grasshopper
While all of these above grasshoppers are fascinating and certainly do play a role in a healthy ecosystem, they can also become quite destructive if left uncontrolled in your garden.
Keep reading to learn more.
Why Are Grasshoppers So Bad For Your Garden?
Grasshoppers can eat up to 50% of their boy weight each day.
Before we get into looking at what kills grasshoppers, let’s first talk about why grasshoppers are actually good for the environment.
Although grasshoppers can be incredibly destructive to your yard and garden if not kept under control, the truth is that these insects are one of the most economically important pests, according to the USDA Agricultural Research Service.
Before we get into looking at what kills grasshoppers, let’s first talk about why grasshoppers are actually good for the environment.
Grasshoppers are considered beneficial because they’re a food source for many animals. They’re also known as “ecosystem engineers” because they change the way that plants grow by eating them. This can actually help certain plant species thrive and can even lead to better soil quality in some areas.
Grasshoppers also help spread seeds through their feces (which is called frass), in turn helping to spread plantlife over certain areas. So although if you only see one or two grasshoppers hopping around your garden, keep in mind that these pests have their place in nature!
Of course, without the proper management and control, grasshoppers can really do a number on your garden.
Grasshoppers are quick to breed, and they are known to eat up to 50% of their body weight each day in plant life regardless of their life stages! This means that your garden could be completely destroyed by these pests if they get out of control.
A female grasshopper lays between 10 and 100 eggs at a time. She lays her eggs in a row on the underside of leaves or on stems at the base of plants. These eggs hatch within a week or two, and the young nymphs grow quickly into adult grasshoppers. From the moment they hatch, grasshoppers begin eating vegetation, meaning they are destructive from the moment they are born.
But how do you recognize a grasshopper infestation in your garden?
Pinpointing a grasshopper infestation is not difficult, but it‘s important to keep an eye out for early signs so you can quickly look into what kills grasshoppers before grasshoppers kill your garden.
A few signs of grasshopper infestations and grasshopper damage include:
- Holes In Plant Leaves
- Missing Plant Leaves
- Bent Over Stems And Plants
- And Ripped Or Missing Flowers
Diagnosing a grasshopper infestation is one thing, but understanding why you have them in your garden at all is quite another.
Before you look into what kills grasshoppers, it’s important to consider why you might have so many grasshoppers to contend with in the first place. This can help you to implement a repellent strategy when it comes to your pest control methods in the future.
What Are Grasshoppers Attracted To?
Grasshoppers are attracted to food, shelter, and water.
Are you wondering why you have so many grasshoppers in your yard? Well, like all pests, grasshoppers are attracted by three common things: water, food, and shelter.
Like all animals, grasshoppers need water to survive. The presence of water in your yard will attract them. This water can come from a garden hose, sprinklers, or even rainwater that collects in buckets or barrels.
After a heavy rainfall or watering, grasshoppers will congregate around the nearest source of water and drink. They can often be seen clinging to blades of grass near the soil surface, where it’s easy for them to reach the water that has been deposited there by rainfall or irrigation systems.
Grasshoppers are herbivores and love to eat a wide variety of plants and vegetation. However, in spite of being herbivores, grasshoppers are known to eat small amounts of dead insects from time to time for protein.
For the most part, though, grasshoppers have a diverse appetite for different plants including:
- Vegetable plants
- And even nuts and berries
Grasshoppers look for protection from predators and the elements when they’re resting or hibernating. In urban areas, they’re often found under rocks and debris near buildings where it is safer for them to live during the winter months.
So, what kills grasshoppers and keeps them gone for good?
Pest control professionals know that the best way to keep insects away is to eliminate what attracts them in the first place. In this case, it’s easy to see how to keep grasshoppers out of your yard: remove their food sources (your plants), eliminate any moisture they can use as a breeding ground, and make sure there’s no shelter for them (like rocks or trees).
Another great way to get rid of grasshoppers is to look into methods of what kills grasshoppers or at the very least repels them.
Fortunately, there are several methods you can use when it comes to what kills grasshoppers before they destroy your garden.
These methods include the use of insecticides, pesticides, natural sprays or repellents, companion planting, home remedies, and inviting predators that eat grasshoppers to your yard to make your yard less inviting to these pests.
Not sure which method of what kills grasshoppers would be best for you? We have listed them all below in more detail for you to consider.
Best Products For What Kills Grasshoppers
Although grasshoppers are frustrating, there are plenty of products you can use to get rid of them.
Because grasshoppers can be so problematic in your yard and garden, it’s best to work quickly to find out what kills grasshoppers so you can get the issue under control.
Of course, finding the right products for you can be tricky. The good news is that you have plenty of options. In fact, options include forms of all-natural products for what kills grasshoppers, to chemical products, to everything in between!
Here are some of the best products when it comes to what kills grasshoppers quickly and effectively:
Bonide Diatomaceous Earth Crawling Insect Killer
First on our list of what kills grasshoppers is Bonide Diatomaceous Earth Crawling Insect Killer. Also known as DE, Diatomaceous Earth is a natural insecticide made from the fossilized remains of diatoms, a type of hard-shelled algae. It’s a fine powder that can be sprinkled on the soil to kill grasshoppers, roaches, earwigs, and many other hard-bodied pests.
DE works to kill grasshoppers by drying them out and leaving them unable to hydrate. The powder absorbs moisture from their exoskeleton and causes them to die.
To use this method for what kills grasshoppers, sprinkle it on the ground around the perimeter of your garden or yard where grasshoppers might enter. The product works best when applied in late summer when the pests are actively moving around looking for food and shelter. It also works best when it is dry, so reapply Diatomaceous Earth again if it gets wet.
Triazicide Insect Killer For Lawns & Landscapes
We also like Triazicide Insect Killer Spray For Lawns & Landscapes for those looking for what kills grasshoppers.
This is a non-residual insect killer spray that kills adult and larval stages of insects, including grasshoppers. It works on contact to kill insects, but it can also kill by ingestion if the grasshopper eats plants with this product sprayed on it.
The spray is effective for up to seven days after application. It also works on other pests like ticks, ants, and grubs.
Ortho Insect Killer Garden Dust
Ortho Insect Killer Garden Dust is a dust applicant product designed to protect your property specifically from pests like grasshoppers and other garden-destroying pests.
We like that Ortho Insect Killer Garden Dust is a non-staining, odorless powder that can be applied directly to the soil around your plants or trees. This product works best when used in conjunction with an insecticide spray or granules.
Ortho Insect Killer Garden Dust is a great option for those who want to treat their lawns and gardens without using harsh chemicals that may harm their pets or children. It’s made without petroleum distillates so it’s safe for use around your pets and children as well as being biodegradable and water-soluble.
Bonide Eight Flower & Vegetable Insect Granules
If you are looking for a product that doesn’t just manage grasshoppers but also a wide variety of other pests both below and above ground, you might consider Bonide Eight Flower & Vegetable Insect Granules. The active ingredient in this product is Spinosad and it is a natural insecticide that has been shown to be safe for humans, pets, and the environment.
This product is labeled for use on vegetables and fruits as well as ornamentals and lawns. The granules are easy to apply by hand or with a spreader. They will not burn the foliage or stems of plants, making them ideal for use on vegetable crops such as tomatoes or peppers.
This product works by attacking the nervous system of insects such as grasshoppers, fleas, beetles, and caterpillars. This makes it very effective at managing these pests without harming beneficial insects like bees or butterflies.
This product can be applied every three weeks throughout the growing season, which means that once you get started with your first application, you won’t have to worry about reapplying all season long unless there’s another infestation later on in the summer months.
Wondercide Outdoor Pest Control Spray
Wondercide Outdoor Pest Control Spray is an all-natural product you can use for not only what kills grasshoppers but also what prevents them. It’s a safe and effective product that will help keep your yard and garden pest-free without the use of harmful chemicals. This product is made with essential oils of citronella, cedarwood, and lemongrass.
The Wondercide Outdoor Pest Control Spray is not only non-toxic but also organic and biodegradable. It’s ideal for treating any area outside your home where you have a problem with pests including grasshoppers, fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, spiders, ants, and more.
This formula will kill insects on contact and leave no toxic residue behind on plants or soil. It can be used around children and pets as well because it does not contain any harsh chemicals or pesticides that might harm them.
The Wondercide Outdoor Pest Control Spray comes with a convenient pump sprayer so you can easily apply this product directly to your yard or garden.
Best Products For Grasshopper Prevention
Prevention is just as important as removal, according to most experts.
Understanding and investing in products for what kills grasshoppers is certainly important when it comes to managing grasshoppers. However, it is equally important to invest in products to keep grasshoppers at bay once you have managed to get them out of your garden.
Grasshopper prevention products can help you keep the pests out of your garden so that you don’t have to worry about them again next year.
Below are some of the best products on the market for how to keep grasshoppers from coming back around next spring and summer.
Garlic Barrier Insect Repellent
As we will discuss in more detail below, garlic is a powerful pest repellent used to repel a number of pests from insects to rodents.
Garlic Barrier Insect Repellent is a great way to naturally and effectively repel grasshoppers and keep them from returning to your garden. This product works by creating an invisible barrier that deters the insects from entering your garden.
To use this product, simply apply it to the perimeter of your garden. The formula will create an invisible barrier that keeps pests away.
This product is easy to use and can be used indoors as well as outdoors. It’s also safe for people, pets, and the environment.
Mighty Mint Yard Spray Bug Repellent
Mighty Mint Yard Spray Bug Repellent is another product that uses natural ingredients to repel pests like grasshoppers. It works by using essential oils like peppermint oil to keep your yard free of pests.
This product contains no chemicals or pesticides, so it’s safe for your family and pets.
To use this product, simply spray it on the area where you want to keep grasshoppers away. It’s recommended that you spray it on a sunny day when the temperature is above 45 degrees Fahrenheit but below 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
How To Make Your Own Grasshopper Repellent At Home
Grasshoppers are deterred by a number of household products like vinegar or essential oils.
When asking yourself what kills grasshoppers, your mind may automatically go to using products you need to purchase or products that contain chemical insecticides.
The truth is, there are plenty of ingredients you may already have at home that can work for not only what kills grasshoppers, but also what keeps them from coming back again.
Vinegar and Soap Grasshopper Spray
Vinegar is naturally repulsive to a wide variety of pests, and adding soap to the combination is extra effective.
To make your own Vinegar and soap Repellent Grasshopper Spray, follow the below instructions:
Mix one part white vinegar with three parts water (not oil). Add a few drops of liquid dish soap to the mixture. Shake well before using.
Use this mixture as a spray on plants that are susceptible to grasshopper damage, or use it as a soil drench around the base of plants to protect them from chewing insects such as flea beetles and Colorado potato beetles. This mixture can be applied up until harvest time without harming the plant.
Best Essential Oils To Repel Grasshoppers
Essential oils are a very popular form of natural pest control, especially when it comes to repelling pests like grasshoppers, spiders, roaches, ants, rodents, earwigs, and more.
Of course, not all essential oils work well to get rid of these pests. We should also note here that if you are looking specifically for what kills grasshoppers, essential oils are not as likely to do the trick.
Instead, essential oils work as repellents because they contain such strong odors that are irritating to pests. Some of the best essential oils to get rid of grasshoppers and other common garden pests include:
- Citronella Oil
- Lemongrass oil
- Eucalyptus Oil
- Peppermint Oil
- Tea Tree Oil
- Lavender Oil
- And Cinnamon Oil
To make your own essential oil spray to get rid of grasshoppers, follow the below instructions:
Mix 10 drops of essential oil with 1 cup of water in a spray bottle and spray on plants every 3 to 4 days during hot weather periods when they are most active. You can also use these oils in combination with other repellents such as garlic or peppermint oil to make them last longer.
How To Use Companion Planting To Get Rid Of Grasshoppers
Companion planting is another method that works well for repelling grasshoppers. This method works by using certain plants that contain strong scents which repel pests and keep them from eating plants, vegetables, or fruit trees.
Some examples of plants that repel pests like grasshoppers include marigolds, dill, lavender, chives, catnip, peppermint, and tansy. All of these plants can be planted around vegetables and ornamentals in your garden to help keep grasshoppers at bay.
Which Predators Eat Grasshoppers?
There are many different types of predators that eat grasshoppers, and this knowledge can come in handy for anyone looking for what kills grasshoppers.
Some of these predators include lizards, spiders, birds, and praying mantises.
If you have these predators in your garden then it will help control the population of grasshoppers naturally without the use of any chemicals or pesticides on your plants or soil.
Garlic And Mineral oil Grasshopper Repellent Spray
Garlic is one of the most effective home remedies for getting rid of grasshoppers because the smell of garlic is so overwhelming to these pests.
Garlic also acts as a repellent to other pests like ants, spiders, roaches, and rodents. You can even keep mosquitoes at bay if you rub garlic on your skin!
Of course, you can also simply crush a clove of garlic and spread it around your garden and lawn to repel grasshoppers and other pests. Or, you can make a garlic and mineral oil grasshopper repellent spray.
- 5 cloves garlic (crushed)
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper powder (optional)
- 1/2 cup mineral oil or vegetable oil
Mix all the ingredients in a spray bottle. Shake well before use. Spray on grass and other plants where you have seen grasshoppers. This is a natural insecticide that will kill them instantly.
Other Ways To Keep Your Yard Safe From Grasshoppers
Keeping your yard well landscaped can help keep grasshoppers and other pests at bay.
The reality is that when the weather gets warm, it’s not unusual for homeowners to see a few grasshoppers in their yard. While these insects can cause damage to crops, they’re not normally considered a major pest problem. But if you have a large number of grasshoppers, or if you live in an area where there are frequent infestations, it can be frustrating and even expensive.
Here are some more ways to keep your yard safe from grasshoppers:
Keep up with Proper Landscaping
Keeping your lawn trimmed short and your garden nice and tidy can help keep grasshoppers under control. Trim your lawn to keep it from becoming overgrown, which is where they like to hide out during the day. Keeping your garden neat and tidy will prevent them from hiding there as well.
Remove Excess Water Sources
Grasshoppers are attracted to standing water and damp soil, so make sure there are no puddles or ponds where they can get their fix of hydration. If there is a leaky pipe nearby, fixing it before it becomes an issue will also help reduce their population.
Don’t Plant the Plants Grasshoppers Are Most Attracted To
Avoid planting the plants you know grasshoppers are most attracted to. Grasshoppers will eat almost all types of plants, but they are especially attracted to wheat, cotton, alfalfa, corn, and rye.
Instead of planting types of plants and grasses that attract these pests, choose other types of plants that don’t attract them as much like mint, marigolds, sunflowers, dill, or chives.
Remove Debris Around Your Home
Piles of leaves or branches in the yard can provide shelter for these pests during the day and make them harder to get rid of over time because they’ll have more places to hide from insecticides or other treatments.
Remove leaf litter, unused garden decor, stones, or dead branches from your yard to make it less hospitable to grasshoppers over time.
Use a Form of Year-Round Pest Control
Last but not least, be sure to invest in a form of pest control that can provide you year-round protection against these annoying pests. There are many options available that we listed above for you to consider when it comes to what kills grasshoppers. These options include but are not limited to sprays, granules, and even organic methods such as making your own sprays or inviting grasshopper predators.
Regardless of which method of pest control you’re most passionate about when it comes to how to kill grasshoppers, just be sure you stay consistent.
So, what do you think about our options above for what kills grasshoppers? Share your thoughts with us about our tips, tricks, and methods in the comment section below.
Jack founded our blog after two decades of working in the pest control industry. His vast experience dealing with a wide array of pests allows him to diagnose issues quickly and get to the heart of pest problems quickly and effectively. He has serviced more than 2,000 homes over his career and there is hardly any pest situation that he has not seen before.