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Early grasshoppers eating my peppers. Any Ideas?

Posted by canyoncrawler (My Page) on
Thu, May 14, 09 at 22:23

I plowed in march and i guess the grasshoppers laid many eggs in my garden. The tiny 1/2 to 1 inch buggers are eating my peppers to the point where they have reached a growth plateau and are starting to yellow...meanwhile my tomatoes, which are in the same bed are 1-1.5 ft tall compared to the sickly 4-6 inch ravaged peppers. They also like my sweet potatoes.

I have tried in order:
compost tea

Garlic oil/fish emulsion spray

Molasses pits

garlic/cayenne/fish emulsion spray with Dr. Bronners peppermint soap

Insecticidal soap
Combo of these in succession

Planting a row ow lowe's damaged "50 cent special"rootbound geraniums at the perimeter of the garden to try to lure the grasshoppers in.

What should i do? This has slowed the attack, but still they come. My wife and I handpick my entire garden 1-3 times a day and this rustling of the foliage has made my tomatoes quite stocky!
I dont wanna use neem yet, and i recall it not working for hoppers last year. But I didnt have such an early problem then. It was more of a problem later in the summer.

What i have is actually neem/pyrethrins/roetenone mix that i reserve for some fruit trees, because my other neem oil may be bad, since it is about 8 years old.

I would appreciate ANYTHING that i could use before neem, but i am out of ideas.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Early grasshoppers eating my peppers. Any Ideas?

If the predatory insects (Blister Beetle larva, ground beetles, birds, parasitic nematodes) are not helping maybe a protazoan disease, "Nosema locustae" might be something to use before spraying such broad spectrum pesticides.

RE: Early grasshoppers eating my peppers. Any Ideas?

You might want to look into one of the Spinosad products. When applied properly, it has little effect on non-target insects and arachnids, even if the product comes into contact with them. Spinosad had shown to be quite helpful in the fight against grasshopper nymphs, much more so than the adults.

Spinosad, a biological agent, needs to be ingested for it to be effective. Use it to cover the foliage, not the flowers.

RE: Early grasshoppers eating my peppers. Any Ideas?

Bird bath, bird house, bird feeder.

Bring in some ducks or chickens and you can have excellent eggs.

RE: Early grasshoppers eating my peppers. Any Ideas?

Spinosad is highly toxic to bees so its use should be only as a last resort and then only appled with due care.

RE: Early grasshoppers eating my peppers. Any Ideas?

du_chall's idea is great--when I had hoppers taking over, I made a de solution & sprayed everything. It wasn't pretty, because everything had a grey film on it, but the hoppers checked out of the buffet. I did put up lots of birdhouses this year, birdbaths & feeders. I also got chickens. So far, so good. I haven't had to use the de. Good luck!

RE: Early grasshoppers eating my peppers. Any Ideas?

Hoop supported fabric row covers might work for you. Make sure you hand pick as many bugs as possible then put the row covers on to exclude the bugs.


RE: Early grasshoppers eating my peppers. Any Ideas?

Tabasco sauce ,a few drops in a 500ml spray bottle of water spray the veggies fruit trees pot plants ferns . The hoppers and moths take off like a jet .it works for us in cairns

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