Elephant ears and grasshopper problem

Asked July 9, 2020, 5:29 PM EDT

Grasshoppers attack my elephant ears at the end of every summer here in Dallas Texas. What can I do to protect them.

Dallas County Texas

1 Response

Howdy,

Thank you for your question. Grasshoppers can be challenging to manage in the landscape due to their excellent dispersal ability and relatively broad plant diet. The most practical 'preventative' management method may be to cultivate a garden that does not have plants the grasshoppers would eat. See this list by Dr. Mike Merchant, entomologist in Dallas, TX, and determine if there are any in the 'not preferred' list that can be used to replace the elephant ears: https://citybugs.tamu.edu/factsheets/landscape/lawns/ent-1005/

A less practical but also effective approach is to put netting around the elephant years around the time that the grasshoppers would be most active. Choose a white and rather porous fabric to allow for good air flow, prevent build-up of humidity, and allow light to pass through.

Lastly, you may consider applying some insecticides. Insecticides will be most effective when grasshoppers are still young and small. Visit your local hardware/garden supply store for products labelled for grasshoppers on outdoor ornamentals.