How do they find the veggies so fast? I didn't see which one he was on but when the plants were getting a drink he jumped out! I won't kill him but I will thump him and relocate him. My kitty will eat him, she loves bugs!
I WILL Thump You on Your Head
Now you have so beautifully captured his portrait and even with his eye pointed our way, we can join forces to repel him and his family from your veggies!
I impale a half dozen on sticks and plant them out in my vegetable bed. The rest then know to stay away or the same fate awaits them.
I don't know where to put my artichokes. Can they take FULL New Mexico sun? Most everything I plant gets some shelter from the 4 o'clock sun even if it says full sun, except for cactus of course.
I'm running out of room.
Grasshoppers have the same cannibalistic ways as slugs, they eat their dead compatriots. I suspect you only had half a dozen to begin with, Dparsons.
But that is why the, hmm, I have forgotten the name of it momentarily. Anyway, that is why the bait I use on them works, it carries a disease specific only to grasshoppers and as some die from it, they spread the disease into the others that eat them.
I still have way too many grasshoppers, even doing that. I think it has something to do with making a plant oasis in a parched area...
Quick, somebody get the emus!
No idea how to help. I haven't had any hoppers. But am so envious of you getting to plant now:)
It's called Nolo Bait, dparsons. I have used it myself, but this house doesn't seem to have as many.
I think it is "Nolo Bait" that gives them a terrible disease for a couple of generations. I like that stuff! Can't stand to squish anything. I get grossed out. I pick up snails and dump them in the street. That way they have a chance! I think I'm just deluding myself, tho. I ought to mark them with nail polish to see if any really do make it back. One good thing about a drought is it is Very Hard on snails.
I'm trying to restrain myself from planting everything and I've got row covers ready just in case. We made it to 79° today.
Last year the only infestation I had was hornworms on the maters, oh yeah and a real bad spell of spider mites. I was able to hand pick the Tomato worms, relocating the ones my visiting son-in-law didn't dispatch.
The spider mites were real bad on my pineapple sage, I was surprised it recovered & bloomed after it got blasted from the hose and severely pruned.
I'll consider the nolo if things get out of hand. Is it really suposed to be safe for birds and kittys that munch bugs?
Yes, as far as I can tell. Anything that works that well probably isn't totally safe, tho. Dparsons should come visit and impale them on sticks! Ewwww.
For myself, I'm really into no chemical gardening and I said what I said about the nolo because I have a real bad case of wanting everybody to like me. Please don't think I'm judging it is just the choice I made for me. Hugs!
Most of us aren't into chemical gardening either. Nolo bait is a microbe -- I don't know whether it is bacterial or viral, but it kills young grasshoppers and makes large ones quit eating. The microbe is harmless to any creature other than grasshoppers. Microbes are often very specific. And it is true that if a grasshopper eats one that died of the disease which they have a tendency to do, it will catch the disease as well.
This isn't chemical warfare, it is germ warfare. Chemicals tend to hurt almost everything around. Germs tend to be very specific. A common microbe used to fight insects is bacillus thurengensis berliner or BT which is a bacterium which attacks only caterpiller. It is totally safe for animals and birds. I did once have a friend who was allergic to it, though.
Morally you have to decide, but health wise, it's not a problem for anything but grasshoppers.
That is good info, Paj, thanks. I may have to look for some of that, there are quite the grasshopper population around here.
Angele, I so very much share your sensibilities! And I appreciate the attitude that says, when in doubt, don't do it, with this kind of thing..... as we have sure seen the effects of that other attitude that says "Oh, there is no proof that such and such and such is the agent of this death and destruction we see! No proof at all, therefore it must be totally safe."
Yeah, right. ;-)
But the microbe thing sounds like good non-chemical pest management.
Paj, thank you! That is wonderful to know. :-)
Last summer there was a huge population of caterpillars, I forget right now what they were but they were everywhere by the hundreds crossing roads and down in Las Cruces there were stories about hundreds being in swimming pools. I remember reading part of the problem was because of the drought the population of their natural predator, a wasp, was way down. The paper wasp normally doesn't bother/sting humans. There was a lovely hive of them with a nest on the back side of a palm frond in the small park right across from my home. Those wasps drank from the hummingbird feeders in my yard and ate the apples I put out too. One day the man that takes care of the park, which means he mows weeds maybe twice a year and turns water on the palm trees, well he noticed the hive and wiped them all out with bug spray. Babies were just emerging from that nest. It just broke my heart. I wanted to write a letter to the paper explaining how beneficial some wasps are but I didn't think I could explain it right. I know he didn't know any better and I try not to be mad at him but sheesh nobody goes to that park so nobody was in danger. It is just a strip of land that the neighborhood turned over to the city. It has pretty much reverted to desert except for the 6 palm trees.
I've been needing to talk about that for a long time!
Yeah, some people just don't get it.
I remembered the name of the grasshopper bait I use, Semaspore sold by Planet Natural over here in Bozeman, and they do mail order from their web site. The disease for the grasshoppers is Nosema locustae and I suspect it is the same thing in the Nolo stuff.
I'm not in to using chemicals either. I have used Nolo Bait and Sluggo. I used a neem oil spray on the roses once but was kind of sorry I did because it kills bees if they have contact with it. We used some kind of biological thing on tent caterpillars once many years ago. They are usually not a problem. The praying mantis we had last summer also killed and ate bees. It was weird. My D.H. thought we should get rid of the mantis but I wouldn't.
Thanks for the tip on the NoLo. I actually haven't impaled any grasshoppers and haven't had a significant problem with them. I don't use chemical pesticides, although I have been tempted. I consider the fact that all life is interdependent and that our widespread use of chemical pesticides seems to have reduced the bee population which we depend on for pollination. There is a balance between defending your vegetables and letting the rest of the creatures on the planet live. I did get after the field mouse/mice that was in my back yard last summer. They can carry Haunta virus and I really don't want a dozen carriers running around my property.
I also have come across the idea that high brix grown plants don't have the insect problems. If true it would be very nice.
Hi brix. Hmm. I am thinking of getting some dry molasses anyways........ hmmm.
Meanwhile, the following recipe was posted on a comment thread about the *new* Mormon cricket threat, and it would probably work just as well for grasshoppers:
(if you're squeamish stop reading here)
"Soak them in salt water brine for 48 hours, then dry them overnight in your oven set at 100 degrees. They're like popcorn. (Spit out the wings.)"
I wouldn't know as I am quoting someone else's recipe. ;-) And I doubt if that person would know either, I think he probably just made it up.
I have been working on high brix for a couple of years in the hoop house and it does make a difference. I just have so many grasshoppers it is ridiculous, so they do end up eating something!
We tried the Neem oil on our POW grubs last night and it didn't seem to affect them much at the recommended rate. Since the heavily infested bed is now empty I think I am going to use diluted ammonia and then cover it with plastic and let it sit for a couple of months. The fumes should kill any nasty beasties living in there and after a couple of months it should dissipate enough to not burn the roots of my tomatoes. I'll take the plastic off and water thoroughly a couple weeks before tomatoes go in the ground. I'm still going to use the Neem on the other strawberry bed as a preventive measure.
I must admit that I use certain chemicals at times. When I was working on my master's degree, I had to get my pesticide applicators permit so I learned a lot about the various chemicals and their dangers and uses. I think the biggest danger from chemicals is that many people use them when and where they are not needed like the homeowner who sees one weed and douses everything in sight with way too much herbicide. Or farmers that spray every year just because some pesticde salesman scares them into buying it.
The park behind our house has an area of natural-ish vegetation. The first year there I noticed that the people who maintain the park and they are like the people at angele's park, spray without thinking. There are weedy thistles in the tall vegetation that invade the grass in the park, so they bring a big sprayer out and spray everything in the park, probably with 2,4-D. If I was a parent, I wouldn't want my kids to play in the park, with the chemicals they put on it. I started my own war on the thistles so the city workers wouldn't spray everything. Non-rhizomatous thistles were cut below ground with a shovel and pulled up. I sprayed the rhizomatous Canada thistle very carefully with Round-up so that I only used as much as I needed and didn't get any on other plants or in the wetland. I never saw them with the sprayers last year so I hope it's working.
I have a book called The Truth About Organic Gardening: Benefits, Drawbacks, and the Bottom Line by Jeff Gillman. In it he lists scores for the relative safety of various products (there are three factors that make up the score). It's interesting that many of the organic products are more dangerous than some common chemical pesticides. It's worth reading if you're trying to decide between the many organic and non-organic products on the market.
There is so much to consider "It's interesting that many of the organic products are more dangerous than some common chemical pesticides." lol, almost enough to make me go to bed and pull the covers over my head. How in the world are we supposed to know what to do? I guess we just do our best and I just hope I don't do something that sets in motion the destruction of our plannet and all living creatures! A butterfly flaps his wings.....
Eat eggs, don't eat eggs, eat eggs.
Dparsons, I didn't really think you impaled the grasshoppers! l.o.l. But, I did hear that putting grasshoppers in a blender and making a nasty soup to put out on plants was a method of control. No way I'm trying that one! But don't tell the grasshoppers because I want them to believe I am ruthless. Some organic substances are more toxic. It depends on the concentration and how used. I found that out with dyes. When I had a fabric printing business I had many people ask why I didn't use natural, organic dyes. That was why. I think if a person only wanted to dye one item it might be great to use, say, onion skins. But for 100 items not so good. On the other hand, I found a recipe on D.G. for using milk and water to spray on roses for powdery mildew and it worked like a charm!
Hi Angele! Here's what I think. Try the least invasive, toxic, lowest concentration first. Then, you can always up-grade your arsenal. Sometimes I've chosen to just pull the plants and give up. Chose your battles.
There are definitely a lot of organic and home-made pest remedies that are fabulous and non-toxic, but I think there are a lot of misinformed people out there that think any "natural" or "organic" product is inherently safer or better than non-organic. Sometimes when people say something is good for me just because it's "natural" I tell them "well, so is snake venom and arsenic, but I'm not going to eat those either". Many people rely too heavily on putting things into simple catergories like good and bad.
That's true. I do think that whatever it is, we should know what we're getting in to. Read labels. Read directions. Read signs. Then decide. Freedom of choice comes with the responsibility of having to consider the options and results. It isn't always easy, either. It's like the "local vs. organic" dilemma. Or whether or not to eat meat. Or how to deal with your juniper allergies.
It is quite difficult to spray a substance on your plants that will kill things in a way that is ecologically sound.
There are some things that are obvioius choices/non-choices. If it causes cancer it is not an option. (I find it incredible that companies still sell known cancer-causing agents, that they are stocked at many stores, and that only some state governments even require labeling them as such). If it stays in the environment longer than 1 year without breaking down to inert or good substances it is not an good option (ex DDT). The worst of it is that you need to make a serious study of it. It should be that the companies that produce insecticides or herbicides would do this and market safer products. No such luck.
Reading labels isn't always enough. Companies don't put any hazard information on the label the government doesn't require. A label will tell you to wear gloves, goggles, a breathing apparatus, cover every inch of exposed skin with clothing, and to wash your clothing immediately afterward. The chemical(s) are termed "irritants" and that isn't quite enough for me. I want to know what it does to me. I want to know whether it stays in the environment. I note that a number insecticides are nerve agents for insects. Some of them our bodies have the ability to deal with and they aren't so dangerous in small quantities. Others can cause us problems. I've written down the chemicals and looked them up on the internet.