Springtime doesn’t just mean “April showers bring May flowers”, it also means grasshoppers are emerging. Grasshoppers are usually out in full force at the end of spring to beginning of summer, damaging property. The differential grasshopper is the most common grasshopper in Texas and causes most of the damage.
In dry cooler weather you may experience several different species of grasshoppers from summer to fall. However, grasshoppers usually only produce one generation each year in warmer climates.
In addition to the differential grasshopper, four other types of grasshoppers you may see causing damage in Texas are: two-striped, red-legged, migratory and Packard grasshoppers.
Grasshoppers lay their eggs during late summer and into fall, mostly in crops or weedy areas. To build a bigger population, grasshoppers need a larger area to breed; most commonly occurring in rural areas and farmland. Their eggs hatch the following spring and can take approximately 60 days for the nymphs (babies) to become adults.
Grasshoppers have 2 sets of wings on the abdomen that can help them fly up to 8 feet, in distance, at a time. Males are smaller than the females and they are actually the ones who rub their hind legs along their wings to create noises.
Grasshoppers feed on a variety of different foods, such as: lettuce, beans, onions, carrots, soybeans, rice, cotton, alfalfa and tobacco.
Ways to help control grasshoppers from damaging your property:
- keep your lawn 3-3.5 inches tall—this helps keep them from laying eggs in your yard
- Eliminate weeds—weeds are a great food source for hatching grasshoppers
- Cover garden plants with a net or cheesecloth—this helps keep them out and from damaging your garden
- Put out a bird feeder—this invites birds into your yard to feast on the grasshoppers
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