Look what we found in a flower bed yesterday. (That's my husband's hand, which is not small and dainty.)
Yeah, we got bugs in Florida
That's a Lubber - the first time I saw one of these grasshoppers on steroids was in St. Augustine, Fl. - that sucker was BIG!
We see those every year! The youngsters are black with a red stripe down the middle…That's when you'll find me out there doing the 'STOMP'!!!! LOL!!! The older they get, the more colorful they become, and the harder to kill! And they eat everything in sight! A heavy spray of water will cause them to jump off your plants, and gives you the opportunity to do the 'stomp'!
If anyone out there has a good remedy….I'm all ears!
I have them here in Augusta, Ga. I have ordered some Grasshopper bait Nolo Organic bait on the internet, you have to spread them when the grasshoppers are small, in May. I have noticed that I have less of them then last year, but still enough to make you mad. I put a zip loc bag over my hand when I catch them, usualy they eat in the morning and early evening. Sometime I use a sharp scissors and cut them in half, sometime I get lucky and get two at the mating time. The bait is very exspensive, I bought 5 lb for 55 doll. They like the hydrengeas, holly bushess and eat all my Cardinal flower to the ground. The secret is to get them early when they are little, but it is easy to miss them. Etelka
i spray all my susceptible plants with Spinosad starting in spring before the lubbers get big. once they reach adulthood, the Spinosad is not as effective. i also catch mine with tongs, no hands....then i step on their heads till their guts shoot out the other end. omg, i can't believe i said that.
We have these evil things in our yard too! One of my favorite flowers is my night blooming jasemine, unfortunately, this is the lubbers favorite plant in my yard as well. They obliterate my jasemine! I have sprayed Neem and it has seemed to help a little bit (I was told that it would change the taste of the plant to bugs), but a Google search came up with nothing. I have even asked around at several nurseries and garden centers and they did not have any other recommendations other than Neem and the lubber stomp. They even shake their back wings to create an eerie sound - and yes, their guts are gross!
The red markings are the reason that the birds do not like them. They belly is full of acid and the birds know that, won't eat them. You will not find anything in the stores, I orderd Nolo bait on the internet, I hope it will work. Get a sharp scisors , that is cleaner and not as messy then doing the stomping, it is gross.
I carry an extra shoe & a brick when I walk around the yard. The shoe to knock them down & the brick to squash them!!! No way am I touching those nasty things, not even with a bag over my hand......................
I have a few large grasshoppers here but they are yellow, red and brown. I knock them off of whatever they are on with my hand and then squish with my shoed feet. When they get on a plant in a matter of 2 hours it is striped of all its leaves. I hate them.
bonnie, those are the adults. the black one pictured is a youngster!
Here is an interesting article about them - it says that they molt 5 times and one female can lay approx. 150 eggs! That's a lot of lubbers! I don't seem to have as much of a problem this year as I have in the past, but they are still a nuisance.
I haven't seen even one Lubber this year, but the palmetto bugs are another story! They are ugly and there are a LOT of them this year - YUCK!!!
I’m an amaryllis grower and have been tracking and killing Lubbers for years.
They were 3 weeks early this year and that is probably because of our mild winter.
In my neck of the woods, the hatchings started on March 10. This year my control is ¼ cup biodegradable dish soap mixed with 2 gallons in water in a pressure sprayer. When I find a clutch, I spray a circle around the outside and work my way in. I soak them as best I can. There were 14 hatchings – that I know of – by the last hatching on March 30.
I treat “stray” nymphs the same way only I have the soap solution in a 1 quart spray bottle. Again they get a good soaking. The last stray nymph was May 12.
And now we’re up to the adults. They were also 2 – 3 weeks earlier than usual. I too am loath to touch them. I keep a supply of small / medium margarine tubs and lids handy. If you come at them from opposite directions – lid on one side and tub on the other – they don’t know which way to go. They are generally easy to catch. That’s step 1. Step 2 is a large plastic ice cream or bulk yogurt container with the soap and water solution. Shake the soap solution so there are lots of bubbles and remove the lid. Shake the small container with the trapped Lubber to disorient it. Have the 2 containers close together, pop the lid off the small container, quickly dump the Lubber into the soap solution, cover and shake. The lubber will kill quickly.
After about 10 minutes, I throw the contents on the large container toward my back property line which is rural.
I like the soap and water solution because I don’t have to buy anything special and there are no harmful chemicals. It seems to be working. I wiped out more clutches than usual and now have fewer adults. Normally I’d have killed 25 – 35 adult Lubbers by now. So far I’ve captured and killed only 13 adults and my amaryllis have less damage than usual.
I apologize for running on so long...
Hi Candace -
Thank you for this tip - I will definately try it. I hate using chemicals in our yard because we have 3 dogs and I'm always afraid it will affect them. We have two empty fields behind us, so I'm sure that's where they are coming from.
Glad to be of help.
The Lubbers love my amaryllis about as much as your Jasmine. They can kill seedlings and young bulbs. I can’t sell a Lubber damaged bulb...
I actually mark my calendar so I know when to start my “Lubber Patrols”. I pick a Monday about 3 – 4 weeks earlier than the earliest hatching date and that really helped this year. My start date for next year will be Feb 11. If we have a normal winter, I won’t get serious until early March. A hard winter may delay the hatchings until early April.
Hatchings seem to occur early morning 7 am – 8:30 am and late afternoon after 3:30 pm or 4 pm. Hatchings end after about 30 days.
I know they are supposed to taste bad to everything but I never have to clean up the massacre site. A year ago I had 7 adults in 1 day. When I tossed them “outback” several caught on the wire fence of the ranch behind me. My husband and I joke that the raccoons were delighted. A pre-washed snack! Every carcass was gone by morning.
You are correct they come from the fields. They like brushy, overgrown areas. Most of my backyard is original Florida natives and I really like that but I try to keep everything else as neat and tidy as possible. Lubbers avoid open, well groomed areas. The hardest part is my other neighbors’ side fences. Leaves and weeds collect constantly against these fences. Several hatchings have occurred along the fences.
Lubbers also dislike water. Sometimes I find them climbing to the top of the tallest foliage when I’m watering. I’ve never found one immediately after rain. They like it dry.
Diligence seems to be paying off. The past 2 years I spotted only 4 hatchings each year and then I was constantly finding stray nymphs. This year I spotted 14 hatchings! Then I had about the usual number of stray nymphs but currently I’ve had far fewer adults.
Good luck and good hunting.
I never saw any till this year and this was the 1st time no one had been mowing the empty lot across from us. Now that it has been mowed down, hopefully they will now go find another home. Luckily I've never seen more than a couple any day. Have never seen a small one - just the HUGE, ugly ones.
Tracksinsand, I really don't think this was a youngster although the coloring is similar to the juvenile lubbers. (If this was the baby, I'm scared to see the grown version!) It was larger than the usual adult brown lubbers we see around here - about 3.5 inches from head to tail. Must be a different variety.
This message was edited Jul 7, 2012 8:23 AM
hmmmm, maybe so. i'll have to do some research. our adults are around 3 1/2 to 4" so yes, i would say yours is a different species.
here's some good info. i didn't realize they had a light and dark phase also. http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/orn/lubber.htm
This message was edited Jul 7, 2012 10:13 AM
Here are two more sources of information with photos!
Both are by the University of Florida
For whoever mentioned the Palmetto's here is what I learned.
Keep the mulch raked away from the foundation of your house. They thrive in the piles and then get into the house easier.
Aha! So that explains it! Thanks for the links; I didn't know that either.
I mentioned them and I have no mulch around my house.
I’ve just notice that my Peruvian daffodils that are surrounded by Gaillardia are lush and green and have NO Lubber damage.
Other Peruvians nearby that are out in the open are badly damaged.
Has anyone else noticed that Gaillardia seems to repel Lubbers?
Candace, I can't keep any alive long enough to tell. ; p
I can understand killing the Lubbers as soon as you find them. Are you saying you have trouble growing Peruvians or Gaillardia? Or are you just pulling my leg?
"For whoever mentioned the Palmetto's here is what I learned.
Keep the mulch raked away from the foundation of your house. They thrive in the piles and then get into the house easier.
I keep trying to tell the owner of our rental house this, and he doesn't believe me, those darn things are almost, I said almost enough to make me want to move back north. I hate them with such a passion it isn't even funny.
My uncle when he garden in east TX had grasshoppers like those, he didn't use chemicals and what he did was purchased a special blender and as he would catch them he would put them in the blender with water and a tad of liquid soap, he would blend them to death and then strain off, use the liquid to then spray on his plants it really helped to keep them from eating everything down to nothing in his garden. He would grab them with his hands and twist their head off their bodies.... First time I staw that I about passed out. As a kid going to grandmother in AL they had them where they would sit in magnolia trees and spit brownjuice on ya, that's why I hate magnolia trees to this day. LOL.
I could see how that would work, but don't think I could stomach throwing them in the blender and then straining them. I can handle snakes and lizards, but count me out when it is a bug!
FLbunnie, here I'll trade you my snakes (I like the lizards) for your grasshoppers..... hows that.
edited to add you are just a little south of us, so that isn't too bad to drive for the trades, although I'm not catching and bringing snakes that part of the deal you would have to drive north for......
This message was edited Jul 11, 2012 2:08 PM
LOL! I think I have enough snakes, I would not ask for more. They probably wouldn't last long around my yard anyway. I have 3 jack russells and they don't take kindly to some intruders (they have already taken down snakes and 2 oppossum). Bradenton isn't too far, maybe an hour?
oh my gosh come on up and bring those little ones, I'm too afraid for my collies.... can ya tell I'm a sissy....LOL the two I have now, their mother was a mean machine on snakes, but she would get bit in the paw a lot and limp for several days afterwards. When I see the snakes I call them inside quick so they don't get in the way when we are removing them. Snakes and those stinking palmetto bugs, oh Lord why in the world did ya make them? That is one of my questions when I get to heaven.
Candace, it's the gaillardia that refuses to grow for me. I've tried a few different varieties and considering that they're supposed to like dry, hot conditions you'd think they would thrive on my property.
That is so surprising!
A couple of years ago, there were a few gaillardia a couple of houses south in our neighborhood. They migrated north and we have been letting them take over our front yard. My husband mows only about half the front now.
Our yard is high, dry scrub in the front. There are no tall trees for shade. We don’t water it. We’re letting the gaillardia take over because the grass is mostly dead and the gaillardia stays green.
We mow it in the fall after the plants die back and that spreads the seeds for next year.
We’ve had a few all yellow flowers show up. The peruvians are in the middle - not blooming and doing well.
Jan - I've asked the same thing about palmetto bugs - if someone finds out what these are useful for please let me know. Ugh, they are soooo gross.
Wyckoff - I love your sea of blooms, that is such a neat idea to let those take over versus a lawn. I would plant my front yard in a heartbeat, but the lawn in front is my husbands obsession. We've had an electric green lawn everywhere we've lived - LOL. We do have a compromise though, I'm slowly tearing up all the way around my back fence, it's quite the project.