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shear_stupidity

Florida grasshoppers

shear_stupidity
11 years ago

Any suggestions for dealing with these things? Does anything keep them away, or do you really have to chase after them one at a time?
Last year, they devoured my Shell Ginger, Coleus, and Cleome. What else do they "love"? Cuz I just won't plant that.
Should I be expecting them to go after veggies, too? Which ones?

Comments (77)

  • Michael AKA Leekle2ManE
    11 years ago

    I believe an article I read said that they prefer to use low, moist areas, such as ditches as their nesting sites.

  • thetradition
    11 years ago

    Basically, walk your yard in the mornings during spring and you'll see them erupt if you have them. Sevin works on them at that stage. Termites, ants and other things swarm all at once, too. If you ever notice a bunch of birds flying around like crazy, look closer... there is probably a bug eruption of some sort going on.

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  • shear_stupidity
    Original Author
    11 years ago

    Crap.

  • shear_stupidity
    Original Author
    11 years ago

    So...

    The flocks of Robins dancing around on my backyard slope all of a sudden might be suspicious...

    And the flock of Ibis (we call them "The Murphy Gang") marching through the yard on a regular basis could also be a sign...

    Wouldn't you think my "pet armadillo" would be more helpful than this???

  • katkin_gw
    11 years ago

    Nothing much will eat them since they are toxic and the birds and amimals get real sick from eating them. I read somewhere a certain gackal will peck them to kill them and let them drain. Then come back the next day to eat the remains.

  • jane__ny
    11 years ago

    Reading this is sooo gross! I thought the only thing I had to be on the lookout for was Palmetto Bugs (which I am totally phobic). Now I have to deal with these things??

    OMG, I am not looking forward to this. NYC is calling me -

    Jane

  • shear_stupidity
    Original Author
    11 years ago

    Jane, here is a picture of one... on a FULL SIZED lighter... from last year. They actually get bigger than this.
    That is not my hand.
    That is my jerk-friend-who-used-to-kill-them-but-moved-back-to-Michigan's hand.

  • jane__ny
    11 years ago

    I may have to switch to indoor gardening. That 'thing' is beyond belief!

    Jane

  • shear_stupidity
    Original Author
    11 years ago

    So you see why I can NOT grab them.

  • writersblock (9b/10a)
    11 years ago

    On the plus side, the palmetto bugs don't seem so scary after you've dealt with lubbers for a while.

  • shear_stupidity
    Original Author
    11 years ago

    Yes.
    They do.

  • KaraLynn
    11 years ago

    Personnaly I'd much rather deal with the lubbers than palmetto bugs any day! Palmetto bugs and cockroches are two of the few things that actually make my skin crawl. That may have to do with being dive bombed by the things in our living room when we lived over in Okinawa. The base housing was old and due to be torn down so it hadn't been upkept and as a result there were gaps around the windows and doors that many critters would crawl through. The best type of pest control was to bring some of the native geckos inside and then listen to them battle it out with roaches as big as them in the closets at night! Thankfully we were only in that house a year at most before being moved to the newer housing on another base.

  • shear_stupidity
    Original Author
    11 years ago

    OMG.
    I can't even imagine.
    I lived in Mississippi for six months, South Carolina for about three years, Georgia for a year or so... all of those places were worse for bugs than here.
    I see the occasional Palmetto bug or cockroach, but not very often. They make my skin crawl, too. Something about how fast they run that upsets me!

  • Michael AKA Leekle2ManE
    11 years ago

    I'll take palmetto bugs and lubbers both at the same time over having to deal with German Cockroaches. These things are all over my kitchen and three rounds of bug bombs have done little to thin their numbers. At least palmetto bugs are susceptible to bug bombs and will crawl out gasping for air where you can squish them. The German Cockroaches just don gas-masks and continue going about their day.

  • shear_stupidity
    Original Author
    11 years ago

    Here's a disgusting-but-true tip for you about the Germans.
    They hide in your dishwasher drain and filter. That's their "bomb shelter."
    We don't pay for pest control year-round. Once every 24 months we "hire" a pro... they come treat once and we cancel the service. We find dead bugs for two years!
    How's THAT for twisted?
    ;)

  • Michael AKA Leekle2ManE
    11 years ago

    Maybe next time I do dishes I will dump about a cup of bleach into the dishwasher and give that a go. If that doesn't work, I'll try running it while empty with a bit of drain-o mixed in.

  • loufloralcityz9
    11 years ago

    leekie,

    Hang 3 or 4 inch strips of Gorilla tape (a brand of duct tape) to the bottom of your cabinetry and the cockroaches stick to the tape at night and can't get loose. In the morning fold the tape on itself and toss the tape. It is a slow method but it does thin the herd. There's a smell in the tape glue that attracts them.

    Lou

  • ritaweeda
    11 years ago

    I've been terrified by lubbers ever since as a child our mom told us they would spit tobacco juice in our eye. OK, here's my best cockroach stories...I'll never forget about the old man next door who was sitting on the front porch in the dark drinking a glass of coke. He reached down and got the glass from the floor and took a big slug only to find out a huge roach had fallen into it. The roach started wiggling and jiggling just before he swallowed.
    Then there was the time my mom was getting ready to make gravy for breakfast. She heated up the grease in the frying pan, took out the opened bag of flour and shook some into the hot grease - french-fried cockroach!! Needless to say we had biscuits with no gravy that morning.
    Finally, one morning I went to blow-dry my hair. I turned on the blow-dryer and soon there was a sizzling sound and some smoke started drifting out of it. Thank God I looked at it with it pointed away from me. All of a sudden roach segments started flying out of the end of it - it had crawled up into it and when the heating element kicked in I guess it super-heated it and it exploded out the front end. I completely freaked.

  • katkin_gw
    11 years ago

    I get freaked by the roaches too, but I can use clipper to cut the lubbers in half. It was something I had to learn to do. Gardening in Fl was a whole new learning experience. Still I love it here and wouldn't move back for anything.

  • shear_stupidity
    Original Author
    11 years ago

    I always sleep with a glass of water next to the bed. I want to get one of those decanters with the drinking glass for a lid because I'm always thinking there's going to be a bug in my water!

    Kat, I wouldn't move for anything, either. This year will be my "proving ground" with the lubbers.

  • zen_man
    11 years ago

    SS,

    I wonder what an electric cattle prod would do to a Lubber.

    Incidentally, I am not squeamish, and I would grab them and pull their heads off. Fortunately, here in Kansas, they aren't a problem. When I was a kid on a farm in Oklahoma, we shot large grasshoppers with a BB gun. We imagined that we were big game hunters in Africa.

    Last year, I did hand-pick Nine-Spotted-Cucumber Beetles off of my zinnias. They became very numerous for some reason, and did more than the usual cosmetic damage. And, in the Fall, Wooly Worms showed up on my zinnias, so I hand-picked them. But your pest problems in Florida seem rather daunting.

    ZM

  • shear_stupidity
    Original Author
    11 years ago

    ZM, a cattle prod would probably only "prod" them into heading in another direction. LOL!

    I know I'm going to have to do something about them, but I really don't want to.

    I planted a begonia in a pot and two days later it's "gone." Chewed to the nubs.

    Grabbing them is only part of the problem. Catching them in the act is the other part.

  • Michael AKA Leekle2ManE
    11 years ago

    Well, they're coming out around here now. Just the other day, my daughter was all ecstatic across the street and yelling, "Daddy! The grasshoppers are back!" To which I proudly called back, "Very cool! Keep them over there!"

    I haven't seen them in my yard yet, but I walk the yard each day looking. Last year I saw a small 'swarm' of newly hatched nymphs moving across my back yard. I never squished them, but they never really stopped to attack my plants either. I'm beginning to wonder if there's something about my yard that makes it undesirable to them. Maybe the stench of cat pee from the neighbor's house actually has a benefit? That said, I will probably go out tomorrow and find them all over my plants. Murphy has a sick sense of humor like that.

  • zen_man
    11 years ago

    SS,

    "ZM, a cattle prod would probably only "prod" them into heading in another direction. LOL! "

    It might "shock" them to death. A cattle prod is tipped with a couple of electrodes, and it can deliver a painful high voltage electrical shock to a cow. It's not quite as severe as a Taser or a stun gun, but it might be devastating to a grasshopper.

    If you know any kids interested in a science fair project, you might suggest that they study developing a 007 weapon against your big grasshoppers. I would rule out high powered laser rifles as dangerous to humans. However, a high powered laser can cut through steel plate, and it would "explode" a grasshopper. There have been some ingenious weapons against spiders and flies. For example, the spider catcher tools.

    My first attempt at a 007 Lubber Killer weapon would be an accurate airgun or target pistol equipped with a close focusing "Bug Buster" telescopic sight.

    Or, you might find that one of the "Spider Catcher" tools could grab Lubbers.

    ZM

  • User
    11 years ago

    One year there were so many of the newly-hatched lubbers in our front yard that we sucked them up with the shop-vac.

  • KaraLynn
    11 years ago

    We've been seeing them for the last couple of weeks but never in any great numbers. That changed yesterday! There must have been at least fifty of them in mom's vegi garden and the plants they seemed most interestedin eating were her peas. They'd managed to eat at least one plant down to a nub before we spotted them!

    Avalon, that sure is an inventive way to make sure that you get all of them!

  • shear_stupidity
    Original Author
    11 years ago

    Update:
    They've already gotten quite a head start on my Begonias, Coleus, and Crinums. I bought a "butterfly net" to catch them (since i can't touch them), but just need to work out what to do with them once they're in the net. I'm thinking shoot them.

  • Michael AKA Leekle2ManE
    11 years ago

    Just dip the net in a bucket of soapy water. With a cap of bleach mixed in for good measure.

  • shear_stupidity
    Original Author
    11 years ago

    Dip... or soak?

  • SusieQsie_Fla
    11 years ago

    Hey Bridget

    Got a 5-gal bucket with the lid? Pour in some bleach or something toxic, and then whenever you catch the lubbers, plop them into the drink. Put the top back on quick til they die. Maybe even use a paint bucket with an inch or two of leftover paint still in the bottom, so they will get stuck down there coated and weighted down. Old oil might work, too.

    You gotta rid your yard of them SOON so they won't eat the cannas and gingers ( and other goodies ) you'll be getting in a couple of weeks.

    The net is a good idea for catching. I bet after catching and disposing of hundreds of lubbers, you'll find you're slowly losing that gag reflex. That's what happened to me. I still can't touch them, but now I find pleasure in stomping them under my feet and doing The Twist (as long as I have on shoes that totally cover my whole foot). This method works best if you stomp them on the pavement, though. In the sand or grass sometimes they are able to reincarnate and live to tell the tale. I have made myself chop off the head if one is smooshd, but acting all smug as if faking its death and planning its escape.

    I have also forced myself to cut them in two with a pair of scissors - so gross, though! - but when one is munching away on my precious plants and I am purposely on the hunt for them with scissors in hand, then I just have to do it. Especially knowing that if I don't, the ones that get away can lay a million eggs and next year it will be even worse.

    Happy Easter!~
    Susie

  • shear_stupidity
    Original Author
    11 years ago

    I am considering how to get them out of the net and into the bucket. LOL!
    And the thought of removing the lid and seeing a bunch of them dead gives me no pleasure at all.
    Basically, if it doesn't bite, then I don't WANT to kill it. And if it's bigger than an ant, then I don't WANT to touch it.
    I'm attached to another object by an inclined plane, wrapped helically around an axis. (Big-Bang-Theory-Speak for "screwed.")

  • SusieQsie_Fla
    11 years ago

    Yes, you are.

    Equally.

    Time to train the midget-troops to do warfare. (Only without scissors. Give them little boots!)

  • Kalie
    11 years ago

    Well, I live in Jacksonville and had 2-3 of these guys around last fall and I kept chasing them off, but they would come back. I didn't know if they were doing any damage or not because they were usually just sitting somewhere without edible plants... but now it is spring and I have found at least 30-40 tiny black and red grasshopper looking things coming up in this area where it is always moist (there are a bunch of crowded lilies there at the moment.) I guess that means I need to be killing these guys because I have tons of vegetables planted and I hate these scary things! Yikes.

  • meg_w (9b) Bradenton
    11 years ago

    This year and last I am only finding them in ones and twos. I do make a check every day since they seem to zero in on my favorites when they decide to dine. The two previous years, however, they came in hoards. I had to clear off the house and plants twice a day and nothing was safe but the weeds. They refused to eat those even when confined with them for days. LOL I donâÂÂt know what has made the difference in their numbers. I am next to conservation area, so no amount of control in my own yard should have cut back the number hatching out in the wild space. I am just counting my blessings, trying to establish new crinums and amaryllis, and plotting strategy for when whatever conditions return that bring them back in huge numbers again.

  • loufloralcityz9
    11 years ago

    Those sound like the baby lubbers that are emerging out of the soil around this time of year. They are black with racing stripes, the stripes can be a variant of yellow color from brown to red..... kill them now before they grow into foot long garden marauders.

    I use my wet or dry vacuum to suck them up as they emerge from the ground. I put a gallon of so of soapy water inside the vacuum tub. I found the wet/dry vacuum works the best because stomping them always misses a few as they scatter.

    Lou

  • Michael AKA Leekle2ManE
    11 years ago

    I sort of got lucky. My daughter found a nest as it was emerging and quickly gathered them into a plastic shoe box. She begged and pleaded with me not to kill them and I begrudgingly agreed. Two days later I asked her where she had put the little lubbers and she took me around to the back yard to show me. There in the middle of a bright, sunny spot was the plastic box, complete with the plastic, unpunctured lid. Every one of those buggers were dried out shriveled husks when she pulled off the lid. She didn't cry about it, just got a little upset and said next time she would poke holes for them. But if she could have seen the mental cartwheels I was doing...

    Since then I have seen maybe 5 of these things around my house and I've been lucky enough that my daughter was there to advocate for their safety as I introduced them to the bottom of my sandal.

  • Vidguy
    11 years ago

    I hate to admit it, but I find the big black grasshoppers fascinating to look out. A very huge and striking insect, maybe one of the most formidable around here considering their size and their coloration. I know they are bad, I catch them eating our ornamental grasses. I can't help but admiring their striking look though.

    Here is a link that might be useful: survival guide help

  • shear_stupidity
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    So I figured out how to ~catch~ the lubbers, just not a fan of shaking them out of the net and squishing them... but I did it!
    I got THREE today! Which... really... is just a drop in the bucket. (No, not a bucket of bleach... just a figure of speech. LOL!)
    Tomorrow, I'll be on lubber-patrol ALL day! (While planting new acquisitions)

    This post was edited by shear_stupidity on Sun, May 5, 13 at 19:14

  • ginger9899
    10 years ago

    Lol luckily I've only seen 2 in my yard so far, last year. One I threw in the river and watched it swim to the edge and get back out. The other I bowled an avocado over it on the carport and watched it get back up and jump away. That's about all I'm able to do until I catch one munching on something of mine.

  • shear_stupidity
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    LOL! When I told my friend I'd killed three lubbers on my own, he asked, "What...with your car?"

    LOL!!!

  • nmasterson44
    8 years ago

    I killed them with raid ant and roach no problem no stomping no touching

  • tomkaren
    8 years ago

    I have a pair of old plastic garden shoes that I use to clap together on them. If you see them in my garden, get the shoes!!

  • inulover (9A Inverness, Florida)
    8 years ago

    The dogs get most of them, but once in a while we get a flush of them. A couple of weeks ago we had maybe 100 munching the crinums. The dogs took one side of the bed and I took the other. The dogs crunched and I flailed away with the fly swatter. A few broken leaves later we had a nice pile of lubber bodies. Later in the summer when they get good sized, I use my $800 air pistol.


  • Carol love_the_yard (Zone 9A Jacksonville, FL)
    8 years ago

    Your dogs actually chase them? Do they catch them with their mouths or paws? Do they eat them, bite them in half - what do they do when they catch one? I would love to see them in action!

    Carol in Jacksonville


  • whgille
    8 years ago

    Larry, you mean business with your dogs, good for you! you trained them well.

    Carol, that is funny! you thought about all the possibilities. I have pictures of my dogs in action, not chasing bugs but eating veggies.:)

    Silvia


  • inulover (9A Inverness, Florida)
    8 years ago

    You don't have to train the Shiba Inu to hunt. The Japanese started that process 5000 years ago. Now it is so ingrained that it consumes most of their outdoor time. I fenced them out of the garden because they tear things up chasing lizards. They don't eat everything. Most of the time they just squish the juices out. Baybe, on the other hand, eats most of his prey. It probably has something to do with his early life with an animal hoarder. Lets see if I can get some pictures to load. First is our special needs boy, Baybe. Like Mikey, he eats anything.

    Next is Kuma, our puppy mill rescue,
    And last is Babe, the alpha female. Her owners died when she was still a puppy. She is aggravated because her prey is broken and won't move any more. She usually leaves her catch for Baybe to eat.



  • whgille
    8 years ago

    Larry, they are so cute! you must be a proud Father.

    Silvia


  • bea (zone 9a -Jax area)
    8 years ago

    Cool breed. At the vet hospital where I worked until I retired a year ago we had a handful as patients. They are so intelligent. And how nice that you gave rescue dogs a home.

  • Carol love_the_yard (Zone 9A Jacksonville, FL)
    8 years ago

    Loved those pictures! Thanks for posting them!
    Carol


  • bea (zone 9a -Jax area)
    8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Even though this post has dealt with some pretty disgusting creatures I cracked up with most the replies. But since this post morphed to include Germans I should share my best cockroach story. Rita will relate.

    I grew up in Greece where the weather is very much like north FL down to the Germans. Only back then, in the 1950s, we didn't have the pesticides of today to deal with them. So they came out at night in droves. My mother always put a glass of water on the night table for me. I usually just reached for it if I woke up at night. One night for some reason I turned the light on before I reached for the glass. Good thing - a dead roach was floating in it. EW!!! Ever since then I freak out if I see one in the house - just ask my hubby. Yah, I know. And I live in Florida? Well, the pros come out regularly so, knock on wood, I haven't seen one in the house.

    Now the lubbers, if they show up around here, it will be war, and I'm a good shot. My 22 is loaded.