Home gardeners must wage war against various pests that invade and damage plants. One of the most formidable foes, grasshoppers can cause serious damage by eating the leaves and flowers of garden plants. According to Golden Harvest Organics, "even in periods of low populations, grasshoppers can cause considerable damage in home gardens." There are several home remedies you can apply to rid your garden from grasshoppers.
Grasshoppers have many natural predators. Toads love to eat grasshoppers and will gladly set up shop in a half-buried pot surrounded by grass and leaves. Spiders dine on grasshoppers, so leave that web alone and allow nature to run its course. There are several types of birds that consume grasshoppers like blue birds, sparrows and larks. Place a feeder with wild bird seed near your garden to encourage feasting. Guineas, ducks and chickens will eat grasshoppers and other pests that live within your garden.
Keeping grasshoppers out of the garden is a sure way to keep your crops from being eaten. Plant grasshopper repellent plants like calendula, cilantro and horehound along the edges of your garden. Create a garlic spray by crushing several cloves and stewing in water overnight for proper infusion. Add in some naturally based dish soap and put in a spray bottle. Spray plants to keep the pests away. Blend fresh chili peppers with water and add a few drops of naturally based dish soap to keep these munchers at bay.
There are several ways to exterminate grasshoppers without calling pest control. Create traps along your garden's perimeter by burying glass jars halfway into the soil. One-part molasses added to ten parts water or small lids (from soda or water bottles) filled with canola oil and placed atop the water will lure grasshoppers to drown. Brew an extra strong pot of coffee and place in a spray bottle once cooled; this will also kill grasshoppers.
Tilling soil during the fall will expose grasshopper eggs to various predators. Till once in early fall and again in late fall, weather permitting. Once you've planted your crops, cultivate the ground around your plants regularly to expose egg pods to the weather and predators. The less eggs that hatch, the less adult hoppers you will have. Bury a sliced potato and mark its location. After a few weeks, pull the slices up. Grasshopper nymphs get trapped by the potato when they try to eat it.