Ask a Question forum: do grasshoppers eat mint?

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Name: alex
southern missouri. (Zone 6b)
Container Gardener Cactus and Succulents Herbs Plant and/or Seed Trader
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alex22ccc
Nov 6, 2014 2:03 PM CST
i grew some spearmint outside this year in a big storage tub (couldn't find anything else to grow it in)

and i noticed that alot of bugs stay away from it.. but something did keep eating it.. and grasshoppers are the only bugs i seen hangin' around the area..

i have captured a small one, put him in the bug box along with some spearmint, he's been in there a few days and it doesn't look like hes eaten any yet.

so i ask, do grasshoppers eat mint plants??
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Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier The WITWIT Badge Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Moonhowl
Nov 10, 2014 12:23 PM CST

My response would be yes, but that is not all grasshoppers eat. They eat plants, some are picky and seek out a particular plant, while others are non-selective.
They may chew a few leaves and move on to something more satisfying. It is like the old logic statement: All grasshoppers are insects, but all insects are not grasshoppers.

As for the captured grasshopper...if it has not touched the mint leaves by now, they are probably not its' choice diet. Below is a home-remedy for grasshoppers in your garden with a basis in fact.

All-purpose white flour may be helpful in killing off grasshoppers. Grasshoppers love to eat their greens, but a dusting of flour on plant leaves may keep them from eating the greens in your garden. Flour becomes gummy in grasshopper mouths and prevents the bugs from eating anything, helping to reduce the frequency of foliage damage to plants.
Name: alex
southern missouri. (Zone 6b)
Container Gardener Cactus and Succulents Herbs Plant and/or Seed Trader
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alex22ccc
Nov 10, 2014 2:14 PM CST
well after 2 days, the little guy started munching... but mostly on the stems. i guess i have my answer now, but thank you for your post.. and thanks for the tip! :]
im gonna try it next spring.. im very protective of my spearmint lol
Name: Kyla
Richmond, VA (Zone 6b)
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kylaluaz
Nov 10, 2014 3:11 PM CST
Alex, no idea if your mint was eaten by the grasshopper or not, but here's another spearmint-eater I discovered in my yard yesterday:
Thumb of 2014-11-10/kylaluaz/248de3

I was surprised! but in my situation don't mind if it eats that, we have tons of spearmint. You might want to watch for caterpillars as well as grasshoppers, though.

Name: alex
southern missouri. (Zone 6b)
Container Gardener Cactus and Succulents Herbs Plant and/or Seed Trader
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alex22ccc
Nov 10, 2014 3:21 PM CST
thank you Kyla, you live in VA? we might not have those same caterpillars here in missouri, but i will keep watch!

one thing i noticed about bugs eating my plants when i DID catch them in the act.
worm and caterpillars will eat the middle of the leaves or anywere else, but grasshoppers tend to just eat around the edges.

thank you for sharing, i actually seen your post in the bug ID forum.. i was trying to find out what caterpillar it is for you by looking it up online... but i couldn't find it anywere!
have you seen more than one of them??
Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier The WITWIT Badge Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Moonhowl
Nov 10, 2014 4:00 PM CST
Alex, here are a few links I think may also be of use to you in addition to ATP.. (They are all fairly specific to your area) I think with ATP, they make a fair start for a good reference library on line.

http://www.insectidentification.org/insects-by-state.asp?thi...

http://mdc.mo.gov/ ( there are a number of garden info /wildlife pages in this one)

http://extension.missouri.edu/index.aspx (again lots of help/answers here)

http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/gardens-gardening/you...

http://www.statebystategardening.com/mo/

http://www.missouriwildflowerguide.com/

https://uswildflowers.com/wfquery.php?State=MO

Name: alex
southern missouri. (Zone 6b)
Container Gardener Cactus and Succulents Herbs Plant and/or Seed Trader
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alex22ccc
Nov 10, 2014 4:30 PM CST
hey thanks Jean, theres that caterpillar ive been looking for.. the banded woollybear :P
Name: Kyla
Richmond, VA (Zone 6b)
Composter Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Herbs Daylilies Sempervivums
Frogs and Toads Container Gardener Cat Lover Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! The WITWIT Badge Winter Sowing
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kylaluaz
Nov 10, 2014 8:10 PM CST
Alex, I think that caterpillar/moth is pretty widespread, but also, if there is one eating spearmint in my region there is likely another similar one in yours, if not the same one.

LOL! I have no idea if what I wrote makes sense. I think I am trying to speak of ecological niches. In other words, somebody has to do it?

That's a real interesting observation you made, about which parts of the plant the different ones eat. Cool!
Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier The WITWIT Badge Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Moonhowl
Nov 10, 2014 10:43 PM CST
You are most welcome Alex.
I must say however that not all insects are limited to eating a single part of a plant. Manduca quinquimaculata the tomato hornworm (A Hawk moth caterpillar) can devour an entire tomato plant overnight leaving nothing but a stumpy stem.

http://web.extension.illinois.edu/dmp/palette/110814.html

Here in Louisiana we have a grasshopper called a Lubber in the genus Romalea. http://bugguide.net/node/view/2806/bgimage

They dine on strap leaf plants, bulbs and flowers. They range in size from about 2.25 inches to about 4 inches and can destroy amaryllis, crinum lily, daylily, etc. but will eat pretty much what ever they come across as they are not terribly selective. They are considered plant eaters, but research has shown that they are also opportunistic carnivores.

http://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.1603/AN11057





Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
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flaflwrgrl
Nov 11, 2014 8:19 AM CST
Jean we had those suckers down in south Florida. Awful, awful. awful!!!!! And HUGE! You can actually hear them munching away. Thankfully I haven't seen any since moving up to north Fl. --- keeping my fingers crossed.
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier The WITWIT Badge Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Moonhowl
Nov 11, 2014 11:07 AM CST
They are so nasty Ann. The population here (my yard) has been greatly reduced over the past 2-3 years. I put a bounty on them. Paid my grandson a quarter each for every dead one...he made a little over $75 that first spring/summer....but still cheaper than replacing what they destroy... Green Grin!
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
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flaflwrgrl
Nov 11, 2014 11:27 AM CST
Moonhowl said:They are so nasty Ann. The population here (my yard) has been greatly reduced over the past 2-3 years. I put a bounty on them. Paid my grandson a quarter each for every dead one...he made a little over $75 that first spring/summer....but still cheaper than replacing what they destroy... Green Grin!


Oh my! $75!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Blinking Blinking Blinking Blinking Hilarious! Hilarious! Hilarious! Hilarious! Hilarious! I can so relate! If I had a grandson I would have done the same thing & been happy to pay it! Those beasts are hard to kill too! It's as if they wear armor. The grossest part about killing them is the brutality one finds oneself reduced to.
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier The WITWIT Badge Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Moonhowl
Nov 11, 2014 11:39 AM CST
Around here we called it the Lubber Yuck dance... hopping around trying to step on one before it disappeared into the garden....but, I think my neighbors called it The Crazy Lady Hop... Hilarious!

As for the depth of brutality....I dedicated a pair of old kitchen shears to the cause.... Whistling
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
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flaflwrgrl
Nov 11, 2014 12:09 PM CST
Yeah, I just can't bring myself to get close enough to cut them with shears. Stomping is as close as I can manage.
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
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tarev
Nov 11, 2014 12:32 PM CST
Yeah, those grasshoppers are a pain when they gnaw on the leaves...ugly edge bite marks and their poop later Angry
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Katydid also eat the leaves, stems, flowers..other insects..
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