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Name: Arielle
Florida (Zone 9b)
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akatarina
May 4, 2015 3:33 PM CST
Hello fellow Florida gardeners!

Have any of you had a problem with lubber infestation, or any experience with handling one?

I had a group of a few thousand hatch about a month ago (they're so cute when they're little) but didn't kill them because I decided to let things happen to my garden naturally. The only problem is, most of my garden is little saplings and leafy veggies and now the lubbers are much bigger! Since the plants are so young, loosing a lot of leaf is starting to take a toll on them.

Does anyone know of any natural ways to get rid of lubbers other than killing them? Is there something that they don't like (besides when the leaves run out)? I thought of doing a catch and release, but I don't want to infest another area with my lubber problem.

Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator Region: Florida Cat Lover Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
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Dutchlady1
May 4, 2015 5:19 PM CST
walk around with clippers and cut them in half. When they are small you can vacuum them up, when they are big, there is virtually no way to get rid of them.
Name: Jean
Fleming Island, FL (Zone 9a)
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qwilter
May 5, 2015 12:32 PM CST
put on gloves & squish them. Chickens will eat them when they are small.
They are voracious feeders.
Blessed are the Quilters for they are the Piecemakers.
Name: Arielle
Florida (Zone 9b)
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akatarina
May 5, 2015 12:49 PM CST
Thanks for the tips. Was trying to avoid killing them, but I think I'm going to have to. It's them or the plants!

I think I'm going to round them all up into a big jar and then figure out what to do with them from there. They're really big now, squishing them all or cutting them up will result in lots of guts.

I read that guinea fowl like to eat them, do you think chickens would be able to digest them? I have a neighbor down the street that maybe I can give them to.
Name: pam
gainesville fl (Zone 8b)
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gardenglory
May 5, 2015 2:13 PM CST
As Jean said, the chickens do love them. Id give it a try. I also cut mine in half, its actually pretty clean...the squishing I cant do.
Name: Kate
Holmes Beach, FL (Zone 10a)
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karmatree
May 7, 2015 4:38 AM CST
Oh my goodness....my neighbor warned me about these guys telling me I had to squish them...and now cutting them in half?? Ack I'm so squeamish about squishing bugs, and these things are monsters!!! I'd pay someone to come over with scissors and cut all of them in half for me while I hide in the corner!!
"A garden isn't meant to be useful. It's for joy." - Rumer Godden
Name: Jean
Fleming Island, FL (Zone 9a)
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qwilter
May 7, 2015 4:43 AM CST
When they are babies, and sit clumped on leaves, you can carry around a jar of clorox water & just push them in. When they get bigger only recourse is squishing.
Blessed are the Quilters for they are the Piecemakers.
Name: Arielle
Florida (Zone 9b)
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akatarina
May 7, 2015 11:12 AM CST
I've decided to catch them and bring them to my neighbor's chickens, found out she's cool with it and actually kind of grateful for some fun chicken food! Hopefully they don't take over her yard in the process lo!

Catching them is kind of fun - the bigger they get the smarter they get and try all kinds of things, even defending their territory! I feel bad for them, but they're attacking my plant babies, so it's war ;)
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator Region: Florida Cat Lover Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
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Dutchlady1
May 7, 2015 11:37 AM CST
A friend mentioned this morning that his chickens won't eat them..... Angry
Name: Arielle
Florida (Zone 9b)
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akatarina
May 7, 2015 1:18 PM CST
Hmmm. We'll see what happens with these chickens! If not, they get the squish
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
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drdawg
May 7, 2015 5:21 PM CST
What in the world is a "lubber"? When I first saw that term on the forum, I thought you were referring to Yankees migrating down to Florida. Whistling
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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Name: pam
gainesville fl (Zone 8b)
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gardenglory
May 7, 2015 6:29 PM CST
Grasshoppers on steroids. Very destructive. Angry

http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/orn/lubber.htm
Name: pam
gainesville fl (Zone 8b)
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gardenglory
May 7, 2015 6:58 PM CST
read that, I have only had the green ones. I have never seen the black ones, curious to see if anyone else has those.
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator Region: Florida Cat Lover Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
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Dutchlady1
May 7, 2015 7:48 PM CST
They are only black as juveniles; then they turn that ugly bright orange....
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
May 7, 2015 8:22 PM CST
Oh, I know what you have. We had them in Pascagoula, Mississippi when I lived on a bluff overlooking the Singing River. These suckers were huge. If they were juveniles when black, I would hate to see them "grown-up". I only remember them being black. I have never seen one in Starkville though.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
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mellielong
May 8, 2015 4:08 AM CST
Here's more than you ever wanted to know about lubbers from UF: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/orn/lubber.htm Feel free to just look at the pictures, if you want. Hilarious!

I hate killing things, too, but lubber grasshoppers and Cuban Tree Frogs are "kill on sight" in my world. Lubbers will eat anything and are terribly destructive. I've caught them eating my bromeliads before! What in the world would want to eat a bromeliad? That's got to be like chewing shoe leather with spikes! So far I haven't seen any this year and I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Some years are worse than others.
Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Name: Arielle
Florida (Zone 9b)
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akatarina
May 11, 2015 7:37 AM CST
Haha, a lot of neat links there :p

Here's an update on the Lubber progress! Took a break from the battle this weekend due to business, but caught a bunch on Thursday, depleting their numbers.

I believe that the neighbor's chickens do not like them, and all the ones I caught in a jar passed away.

But they are still at large! Check out this poor plant from this morning's watering (munch....munch...munch....):

Thumb of 2015-05-11/akatarina/5ba3f4

For scale ..... some are even bigger but not pictured in this photo:

Thumb of 2015-05-11/akatarina/accd0a

Hi!! I'm just a juvenile Smiling

Thumb of 2015-05-11/akatarina/4d4db3
Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Florida
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Forum moderator Plant Identifier
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mellielong
May 11, 2015 8:01 AM CST
Ugh! I want to smash them through the screen, but I'm using Mom's computer that she bought last week so she'd probably be mad. I'd give you a thumbs up for the photos, but I just can't bring myself to do it!
Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator Region: Florida Cat Lover Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
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Dutchlady1
May 11, 2015 9:22 AM CST
Yeah better deal with them sooner rather than wait for them to become giants.... Thumbs down
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
May 12, 2015 12:54 PM CST
Yup, I can say for sure that they get to be bigger than your thumb as adults. They can be kind of pretty, with red/orange/ yellow and black markings. But they'll eat your garden.

I think probably if you don't want to squish them, putting them in a jar with soapy water and/or bleach is less messy.

Also, a birdfeeder in your yard will attract more birds that will also eat the lubbers. At least when they're small. When they get big, they're slow enough that your dog or cat can catch them.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill

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