grasshoppers are eating my fruit trees leafless. (mostly smaller trees like 1 to 3 ft tall) . You walk thru the orchard and the grasshoppers fly in every direction. Mowed the grass about a month or so back so am thinking I'll do that again so less places to hide for grasshoppers. I have lots of bird houses which birds have vacated now. (time of year I guess). Have thought about chickens since the orchard is fenced and they could free run, however no chickens to be found this time of year. Really hate to start using poison but if I do hopefully there's a product out there that won't make sick or kill the birds and bees (which I have 6 hives). Do you have any suggestions? I would greatly appreciate any advice regarding this. Michael.
Grasshoppers tend to eat crops such as apples when the grasses and other foods they have been eating dry up for the season. Mowing the grass may actually cause more of an issue because they will have less food to eat in the surrounding area. Below is a publication about grasshoppers and in it there is a recommendation to leave an irrigated area for the grasshoppers to feed on so they are not as attracted to your crop. The publication below also has recommendations for pesticides, but note it states they list products that are toxic to bees. I also provided a publication about pesticides and bees which lists the toxicity of many products to bees as a reference. If you decide to go with chickens in the future you will need to consider food safety, it is often recommended to remove the chickens 90 days before harvest.
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