Black grasshoppers will emerge soon

LSU AgCenter News

April 21, 2011 at 9:54 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Rene' G. Schmit
LSU AgCenter County Agent, St. Charles Parish

It is the time of year when people begin to notice hordes of black grasshoppers moving across the landscape.  This insect is the eastern lubber grasshopper which occurs throughout South Louisiana.  Serious outbreaks most often occur in the river parishes between Baton Rouge and New Orleans.

The eastern lubber grasshopper is an occasional pest of landscape ornamentals and normally prefers open woods, weedy fields and weedy roadside vegetation.  But when populations become quite large, these grasshoppers tend to spill over into yards and gardens in residential areas.

The adult grasshoppers begin to appear later in the summer.  Then after mating, the adult female will deposit egg masses in the soil.  Each egg mass contains 50 eggs, and each female will lay about three egg masses, which remain in the soil through the fall and winter before beginning the cycle again when they hatch out in the spring of the following year.

The eastern lubber grasshopper is completely black with one or more yellow to red-orange stripes.  Their wings are only about half the length of the abdomen so they don't fly but can jump short distances.  These grasshoppers are rather clumsy and travel by walking and crawling.

Insecticides such as Orthene, Seven (Carbaryl) the liquid or dust, Diatomaceous Earth (organic) and products with pyrethrin as the active ingredient are effective in helping control eastern lubber grasshoppers.  Of course, smashing them as you see them can also provide an effective control!  Since this grasshopper cannot fly, perimeter and border treatments with Sevin Dust or Diatomaceous Earth can be effective in reducing migration into desirable areas.

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