The Q&A Archives: How to Rid Garden of Locusts & Grasshoppers

Question: I believe I have locusts (vs. grasshoppers). They are brown, at least 3+ inches long and can

Answer: There are several insecticides on the market:

Cyfluthrin. The active ingredient in Bayer Advantage Home and Garden Spray and Tempo
Bifenthrin. Active ingredient in Ortho Ready-to-Use Houseplant and Garden Insect Killer
Permethrin. Active ingredient in Spectracide Product and other brands
Acephate. Active ingredient in Orthene

Or you can try baiting. Sevin 5 Bait is a ready-to-use bait which can be applied to many crop and non-crop sites, including around ornamentals and many fruit and vegetable crops.

If you have pets and children, the safest bet for you, your kids and your pets is a pathological control called Nolo Bait. Also called Nosema locustae, it's a deadly spore mixed with bran flakes that carries no risk to humans.

Spread the flakes around the areas where hoppers congregate. Mornings when no rain is expected are best. Grasshoppers eat the bran, and the spores slowly kill them. Females pass the spore to their eggs, infecting the next generation.

In a deliciously macabre finale, other grasshoppers cannibalize the slain members of their species and thereby infect themselves.

The disease will not, however, be passed onto creatures that naturally feed on grasshoppers--hawks, crows, sparrows, brown thrashers, squirrels, field mice, snakes, toads, spiders and cats. It's also safe to use around bodies of waters.

Nolo Bait is best applied in spring and then every few weeks thereafter. It's not too late to try it now. Just don't expect it to wipe out the problem and do give it a few weeks to work its way through the population.

Best wishes with your garden!

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