Help! Grasshoppers are destroying my yard.
The last three years, grasshoppers have destroyed everything in my yard. They start with the rose bushes. Once they strip those, they move to fruit trees, vegetable garden, and end the season by stripping the Japanese Holly. Walking through the yard is like walking through waves of hoppers. Last year I applied Neem oil, Semaspore bait, and Ecobran with limited success. I just could not keep up with them. I don't want to kill the beneficial insects or birds. I need help.
Red River County Texas
Grasshoppers can be difficult to control and a nuisance to the lawn and garden. Grasshoppers lay their eggs in tall, grassy, weedy areas like along fence rows and in ditch banks. If you have these areas near your property, I would suggest trying to focus some effort on controlling them there, when they are young, before they move into the yard.
If you have this type of area near your place and in your control, I would consider mowing it down next summer several times to keep the weeds and tall grass lower to decrease the desirability of the site for grasshoppers.
You may want to begin scouting the area in late spring, early summer, to look for young grasshoppers (less than 1/2 inch long). When you start to see hoppers in those areas, consider applying your natural bait Semaspore or Ecobran then. It is most effective on young grasshoppers (generally considered young when small and before they have their wings which is when they are less mobile too). You mentioned using the bait in your question, but did not indicate timing. i have read that even if this product does not kill the hoppers, it will decrease egg laying.
Make sure you are using new product and not carry over from last year.
I would consider following the bait treatment up with your Neem Oil a few weeks later. I would also consider the use of floating row covers or loose window screen material on top of your more sensitive and desirable plants this summer should the infestation get ahead of you. These will make some physical barriers between your landscape / garden and the grasshoppers.
Please feel free to email me back at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 903-628-6702 to discuss these and other options further. Thanks for contacting eXtension with your question.