The Q&A Archives: Grass Hoppers

Question: Every spring and summer my garden gets infested with these things. How do I get rid of them? They tend to like my egg plants mostly.

Answer: A well-known biological control for grasshoppers is Nosema locustae, a naturally occurring protozoan that causes disease and death in crickets and grasshoppers. Spores of the parasite are impregnated into wheat bran flakes and applied on the field. It takes one to three weeks for the grasshoppers to be infected. Following ingestion, the spore ruptures and activates the disease in the grasshopper. Infected individuals are lethargic and slow, making them easy prey for birds. Nosema locustae is not toxic to birds, animals, or other insects.

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