They eat plants! Usually the ones you don’t want them to.
In the last couple of weeks I have noticed a sudden increase in the number of small grasshoppers in the nursery. Did you know little grasshoppers moult 5 – 6 times and become big ones? With much bigger appetites!
The big ones can live for several months and can lay up to 100 eggs. The eggs hatch in Spring/ Summer when weather conditions are suitable.
The moral of the story is to control as many grasshoppers as possible while they are still small!
Birds are a major predator so it is good to encourage birds into your garden – a good way is to provide clean water for them to drink, especially in dry weather.
I have just sprayed the nursery with Eco-neem which is a BFA certified product for organic gardens and which controls most plant chewing insects, I combine it with Organic Eco-oil and am able to control most of the chewing and sap sucking pests that attack my plants.
Organic Eco-neem is registered and used in many countries overseas including NZ and USA for control of grasshoppers including on food plants, but has not yet gained registration for grasshoppers in Australia. Its advantage over other sprays is that it is safe for beneficial insects and birds in the garden, even if they eat insects affected by Eco-neem.
To find out more about this fantastic organic spray please read our previous article.