How to Keep Grasshoppers From Eating Your Plants

If you are a keen gardener, you'll know how annoying it can be when certain insects attack the plants that you spend such a long time caring for. One of the major offenders is the grasshopper. There are thousands of species of this pesky garden pest and most of them are really not fussy about the kinds of plants that they eat. This means that if grasshoppers find their way to your garden, potentially all of your beautiful plants could end up with holes running through them. But all is not lost because there are some ways of keeping the grasshopper population in your garden down and protecting your plants.

Attract more birds to your garden. There are tons of birds out there that rely on a diet of insects, such as grasshoppers, to sustain themselves. Give those birds a little helping hand to find the grasshoppers in your yard, and they'll no doubt want to stick around for the buffet dinner. Birds need water, so you can attract them with bird baths and water fountains. You can also plant twiggy shrubs and small trees where birds can nest. Just don't lure them in with a bird feeder because you want them to eat the grasshoppers, not the nuts and seeds you leave for them.

Keep chickens. Okay, keeping chickens isn't going to be for everyone, but for gardeners who have a really serious grasshopper infestation and like the idea of having fresh eggs each day, keeping chickens is a great method of grasshopper pest control. Let them loose in your garden and they will gobble those grasshoppers right up. And, even better, they will also be happy to chow down on fire ants and termites.  

Dust leaves with flour. If you dust plants in your garden with regular all-purpose flour, the grasshoppers will find the leaves much more difficult to eat. The flour will become gummy in the grasshoppers' mouths and prevent them from eating the foliage. Of course, this may only be a sensible solution if you have a small patch of green that is under attack, as it's impractical to dust a huge garden with flour.

Natural insecticides. If you don't want to put chemical pesticides on your plants, look for a natural insecticide that contains neem oil. When young grasshoppers consume the neem, they are prevented from maturing and laying any eggs, thus controlling your garden's grasshopper population. 

If these suggestions don't work, or the infestation gets too big to handle, consider calling in a pest control expert.