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Grasshoppers are familiar insects across the United States. Several hundred species exist and rarely cause gardeners problems, but several species cause widespread garden destruction. Grasshopper damage often occurs in cycles, as populations build from year to year and grasshoppers migrate in search of food. They can fly and jump great distances, due to stout, winged bodies and large, strong hind legs. When numbers are high and grasshoppers are hungry, they devour and defoliate entire gardens.

Identification: Grasshoppers come in many sizes, colors and patterns, often blending in with the greens, browns and yellows of grass and garden plants. Common grasshoppers grow 3/4 to 2 inches long, but some are much smaller or larger. Occasionally mistaken for crickets, grasshoppers have shorter antennae and larger hind legs.

Signs/Damage: Most grasshoppers don't target specific plants. They prefer young, tender growth, but they'll feed on all types of plants and plant parts. Their large, chewing mouthparts do extensive damage. Rather than chewing small holes, grasshoppers consume large sections of leaves, flowers, vegetables and fruit.

Control: Grasshoppers often lay their eggs in weedy, unmaintained areas. Then they migrate to cultivated gardens. Effective treatment reaches both gardens and their borders. GardenTech® brand offers several highly effective options to kill grasshoppers by contact and keep protecting your plants for up to three months:

  • Sevin® Insect Killer Ready to Use simplifies treating target plants and small garden areas. Select the "stream" setting for direct, precision spraying. To treat wider areas, adjust the nozzle to the "spray" setting.
  • Sevin® Insect Killer Granules, applied with a regular lawn spreader, provide effective grasshopper control for lawn and garden areas. Broadcast the ready-to-use granules or use a lawn spreader for full-yard treatments. Then water the area immediately to release the active ingredients.
  • Sevin® Insect Killer Ready to Spray attaches to your garden hose and measures and mixes as you spray. This non-staining formula is ideal for treating grassy borders, larger garden areas and plantings near your home's foundation.
  • Sevin® Insect Killer Concentrate, used with a pump-style sprayer, simplifies treating lawns, gardens and foundation plantings. Measure the non-staining formula with the measuring cap, add water to your sprayer, and mix well. Cover all surfaces thoroughly to kill existing grasshoppers and protect against new arrivals.

Tip: Keep garden areas and nearby borders free of long grasses and weeds where grasshoppers may lay eggs. Till vegetable gardens in fall and spring to expose overwintering eggs and reduce grasshopper populations.

Always read product labels and follow the instructions carefully, including guidelines for pre-harvest intervals on edible crops.

GardenTech is a registered trademark of Gulfstream Home and Garden, Inc.

Sevin is a registered trademark of Tessenderlo Kerley, Inc.

PHOTO CREDIT:

"Grasshoppers" by University of Georgia (Bugwood.org) licensed under CC BY 3.0 US

"Spur-throated grasshoppers (Melanoplus sp.)" by Whitney Cranshaw at Colorado State University (Bugwood.org) licensed under CC BY 3.0 US

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