How NOT to Get Rid of GrasshoppersBy starlight1153 (starlight1153) on April 2, 2010
|No matter where you live, no matter how big your yard, your going to have bugs. Some you can see, but for every one you do there are hundreds, just hiding and laughing at you as go about your business and walk right on by them. The following is one just bug that spends a lot of time laughing at me.|
Until a couple of years ago I never had these green chewing, plant spitting, plant destructing critters in my yard. I have no idea where they came from, but come they did, in droves.
Now I went googling through pages and pages to try and find a way to combat these guys. I found all kinds of articles that suggested some chemicals, but since I was trying to build up my population of beneficials and other good insects I decided to try a natural way. I read where a good method is in either the fall or the early spring to till the ground and by laying it bare open, so birds would come to eat the hopper larvae in the soil.
Now knowing that me and tillers do not get along, cuz I want them to go in one direction and they wanna go in another, plus the fact that alot of hard work tilling the ground, and I have too many tree roots, I passed on that idea.
One web site I found suggested the use of molasses and water. Cool, I'm thinking. I can do molasses. No chem's in it. My frogs and lizards would be protected. Off to the grocery store I go, Look out Log Cabin syrup here I come.
I buy oodles of bottles of this stuff. I get home and the internet directions said to dig a shallow hole, put the syrup and water in the trays, and place in the ground and the hoppers are sure to come and will drown because the syrup keeps them pinned there.
Thought and thought what could I use for trays. Had a large area to try and cover . AH -ha. Brillant idea. Go down to the corner store and ask the meat department man if I can buy some of them shallow trays that they package meat on. Sure he says. He will sell me some, at 10 cent a piece. I buy a hundred of them. Only color he could spare was black. He needed the nice bright yellow ones I would have preferred to have.
I get home and start to gather my materials up. Now the recipe said to mix water with the syrup. I started opening bottles of the syrup up and poured them into a bucket. Now Log Cabin was too expensive, so I got this nice thick really dark brown looking stuff. It said molasses on the label so I said, what the heck. I'll use it.
I start to add water and saw that the water just laid on the top, got me a mixing spoon and stirred the heck out of it. Well it did mix up for a bit, but then it started seperating again. Too much trouble to keep mixing, I wanted to get this stuff in the garden. Decided to just pour the stuff straight from the bottle into the pan.
I get to the end of one bed, watching hoppers fly about as I am walking through the yard. I got me a big smile on my face cuz I just know I gonna fix their high jumping hind legs from destroying my plants.
Got down on my hands and knees and started digging shallow troughs to place my black trays in. I grab a bottle of syrup and start to pour. Now I haven't used molasses since I was a kid making cookies with my mom. I forgot how long it takes for that stuff to come out. Sheesh!
Hours later I now have 100 nicely placed, perfectly dug and leveled trays filled with molasses all over my yard. I decided not only to place them every few feet around the beds, but also randomly around the yard to catch the strays. I was so proud of myself and so happy I was gonna finally get rid of these pests. Into the house I go for a much needed rest and well deserved cup of coffee. Off for a nice nap of dreaming of coming out the next day and finding all those trays filled with dead hopper parts. How stupid was I.
Went out the next day and checked some trays, no hoppers, not a one. Found some ants though. Oodles and oodles of ants. Ants marching too, and ants marching from. Great I thinking, just what I needed, but I know I can deal with the ants later with grits, I wanted the hoppers dead really bad by now cuz my foliage looks like these guys not only had a party, but had invited a few more friends to the free smorgasbord in my yard.
Three days later nothing. The ants are still marching two by two in neat lines. A week later and still nothing. By this time, I feed up with the trays and the hoppers.
Now have you ever done something and know it is there, but you so frustrated at the time, you forget about it? I saw hoppers having a field day on my most prized Daylily foliage. There was three of these now huge tobacco spitting critters hanging there munching away with not a care in the world. I saw red! My first reaction was to get them off it.
I didn't think, I didn't watch where I was going, I just made a beeline for my Daylilies. In the process I stepped in tray after tray of gooey mollasses. I got trays stuck to my feet, mollasses all over my shoes and socks and pant legs. I felt like I was in that movie Mouse Trap.
While I'm yelping my head off at these nastiest critters ever it seems, I flipped one tray up and my foot twisted in the hole, and down I went. Down into more molasses trays I go with my hands and elbows and knees as I try to catch myself.
I get to my babies just to have the hoppers fly off. By now I am mad. So mad! I am not only covered in syrup, but I never knew how sticky that stuff really is. I now look like I been tared and feathered only I am covered in leaf mulch, pine mulch, dirt and other gross ickies from the yard. My newly washed hair, well it looked like a dirty dish rag.
Off to the house I march. This is war! I get a fly swatter. Out I come with it. Back into the yard I stomp. I yelling at these hoppers really loud. Now I know neighbors are looking to see what my problem is. They are now having a grand ole time laughing at the me and my new style of garden dress. They having a good time at me creating the newest break dancing steps as I prancing and dancing around like a crazy woman trying to hit as many of these hoppers as I can. Hint... Hint... Flyswatters don't work either. Before ya get to them to step on the up and flying again.
I finally gave up and dragged my poor abused body and beaten ego back into the house and got cleaned up. A few days laters I was out watering and was too lazy to walk all the way to the end of the bed dragging the water hose, so I put my finger over the end of it and pressed as hard as I could and made a hard jet spray. I just happened to notice that a few grasshoppers when sprayed like this, that they hit the ground and it stunned them enough that I could step on them. Oh ya, goody..goody... I was back to smiling. I got me the hose and as the hoppers would fly up I would spray them and run and squish. Now I going crazy. I on a mission. I squirting and stepping and squirting and stepping. I got so engrossed that I forgot what goes up comes down . Time and time again, I would have one fly up infront of me and to make sure it didn't escape I would just spray. Do not spray a water hose directy above your head unless you want a shower.
I got soaked and still get soaked to day out there trying to battle them, but if ya got hoppers and wanna get rid of them the water hose, squish method does work.
Now you might think this is the end of the story and it should be except for one thing. Never randomly bury anything in your yard that you don't put some sort of colorful marker by.
All those random trays I placed around the yard with syrup. They came back to haunt me. Well we had had one good wind storm that blew all the leaf mulch every where around and through the yard.
If ya hear somebody yelling, screaming like a mad woman, doing a one foot dance ya know it just me where I stepped in another tray forgotten and hidden. ---------------------------------
|beneficial bugs, destructive critters, fly swatter, flyswatters, frogs, garden pests, good insects, grasshopper, grasshopper larvae, grasshoppers, home gardens, insecticides, insects, larvae, lizar, molasses, pesticides, soil, tilling, yard chemicals|
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