Eastern lubber grasshoppers migrate in large numbers and cause significant damage to vegetables, citrus crops and landscape ornamental plants. They are found in the southern states and as far north as North Carolina. They are incapable of flight and can only hop short distances. They grow to three inches in length and prefer to crawl for mobility. They are difficult to kill and almost completely immune to most insecticides. They have very few predators due to the fact they secrete a toxic substance which can easily kill birds. They can also expel an irritant from their thorax with a loud hiss, to deter any potential predators.
Hand-pick the grasshoppers from your shrubs, trees and flowers. Submerge them in a mixture of 25 percent dish detergent mixed with 75 percent water to drown them. When the grasshoppers are young they congregate on plants in large groups and are easy to pick off by hand.
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Mow your grass. Eastern lubber grasshoppers like to live in tall grass. Keeping your grass cut low will discourage them from residing in your yard and consuming your garden.
Purchase an insecticide. Choose an insecticide that contains either carbaryl, bifenthrin,cyhalothrin, permethrin or esfenvalerate, for control of large infestations. Grasshoppers become immune to insecticides as they grow, so spray them while they are young for the best results.
Apply the insecticide directly to the grasshoppers. The insecticide residue on plant foliage will not be strong enough to kill the grasshoppers. They will require a direct application and you may have to spray more than once to kill them all.