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OGSG Archives > Ever had to deal with grasshoppers?

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message 1: by K.C. (new)

K.C. Neal (kcneal) | 29 comments We had a grasshopper explosion in the area last year, and I've been told this coming summer will be as bad, if not worse. A few of my ornamentals were nearly skeletonized by the grasshoppers last season, and I'm wondering if anyone has good tricks for keeping them from feasting on my ornamentals and veggies?

I've seen some praying mantis casings in the yard, so I should get some help from those critters. However, I don't want too many of them because they prey on some good bugs too, like honeybees.

Suggestions appreciated! :)


Petra X is very happy & even more confused (petra-x) I have snail problems. Help with that would be appreciated too.


message 3: by K.C. (new)

K.C. Neal (kcneal) | 29 comments Petra X wrote: "I have snail problems. Help with that would be appreciated too."

When I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area, I had lots of snails. I used Sluggo - it's nontoxic and breaks down into beneficial soil nutrients - and it worked like a charm. I only had to make 2-3 applications a year.


Petra X is very happy & even more confused (petra-x) I must look for that. Thank you for the tip.


message 5: by Lorraine M. (new)

Lorraine M. Thompson (lorrainemarie) | 9 comments Kate wrote: "We had a grasshopper explosion in the area last year, and I've been told this coming summer will be as bad, if not worse. A few of my ornamentals were nearly skeletonized by the grasshoppers last s..."

I don't suppose you would consider catching them and frying them in a little oil would you? (grin) They are quite yummy when sauteed in palm oil, garlic, and scotch bonnet peppers. That is how they prepared them in the Congo. Hmmm, don't know that they are the same grasshoppers however....


Petra X is very happy & even more confused (petra-x) I bet they are crunchy.


message 7: by Terri (new)

Terri | 480 comments Ewwwww! I'd never made it eating bugs. I guess I'd have to be pretty darn hungry to do it. Although, I have had escargot and squid so it's really only one step further down the food chain.

What about row covers to keep out the grasshoppers?


message 8: by K.C. (new)

K.C. Neal (kcneal) | 29 comments Hee, not sure if I'm brave enough to cook grasshoppers and eat them!

I do wish I had space for some chickens. My neighbors across the street have some, but they're moving soon, likely before the grasshoppers become a problem this season. A birdfeeder is a nice idea. Even if the grasshoppers aren't too bad, surely there will be plenty of other pests for birds to snack on.

I'll be using row covers on many crops anyway, to protect against other bugs like flea beetles. But I'm actually more worried about some of my ornamentals, the ones grasshoppers feasted on last year.


message 9: by Lorraine M. (new)

Lorraine M. Thompson (lorrainemarie) | 9 comments Grasshoppers (at least the ones in the Congo) are crunchy if cooked the right length of time (as are termites and palm grubs--both of which are also quite yummy when cooked properly in palm oil, garlic and hot peppers). Yummmmmy!

Kate, any chance that you can plant something else that the grasshoppers would like better? We have had a real problem with Japanese Beetles here in Michigan and then I discovered that they went crazy over evening primroses, leaving everything else alone. Since my yard's color palette is yellow, purple and white the evening primroses fit in quite nicely. Just a thought....


Petra X is very happy & even more confused (petra-x) Lorraine M. wrote: "Grasshoppers (at least the ones in the Congo) are crunchy if cooked the right length of time (as are termites and palm grubs--both of which are also quite yummy when cooked properly in palm oil, ga..."

You are braver than me. But I am curious, what do termites and grubs actually taste like?


message 11: by Lorraine M. (new)

Lorraine M. Thompson (lorrainemarie) | 9 comments Termites and grubs cooked in palm oil, garlic and hot peppers just crunched and tasted like garlic and butter flavored popcorn to me. Now raw termites and palm grubs...well, I always followed them with a really large swig of beer or the local moonshine or palm wine to make them go down faster (grin) so I can't say that I know what they taste like per se. But fresh palm wine and the local beer (Simba) are EXCELLENT!


Petra X is very happy & even more confused (petra-x) Once when I was in Bali and my driver was detouring through the rice paddies we saw lots of people running around catching butterflies. I thought it was charming so my driver stopped to show me what was really going on.

The people were catching dragonflies and pulling off their wings and throwing in a wok on a small spirit stove. Lunch. But not for me.


message 13: by Cheryl S. (new)

Cheryl S. | 3501 comments Petra X wrote: "Once when I was in Bali and my driver was detouring through the rice paddies we saw lots of people running around catching butterflies. I thought it was charming so my driver stopped to show me wha..."

Eweee!


message 14: by Miriam (new)

Miriam Kate,
Did I ever mention that when I was in Idaho, we were beekeepers? We had 500 colonies! Don't worry about praying mantis and bees, the bigger problem for bees are the pesticides and the diseases. The number praying mantis eat is negligible!

I would suggest using row cover material over your ornamentals for this summer. Snug it up around the base. The eggs are in the soil and dead leaf material, I think. Hopefully nature will do its thing and the balance will return.


Petra X is very happy & even more confused (petra-x) I always wanted to keep bees. I have read so many books about it. I find bees and beekeeping absolutely fascinating. Unfortunately I am allergic to bee stings so its nothing I will ever be able to do.

There is a type of bee around here that is very big and black and hums very pleasantly. Its so heavy that when it lands on a flower the petals bounce. I believe it nests in holes in the ground. Do you know if those sort of bees make honey?


message 16: by Miriam (new)

Miriam I don't know different types of bees very well, so I have no idea. I wouldn't go digging up a hole to find out if I were you, being allergic to honey. I doubt it though. Seems like only cavity dwelling bees (caves, dead trees) make honey.


Petra X is very happy & even more confused (petra-x) I'm not allergic to honey, only bee stings. I love honey!


message 18: by Terri (new)

Terri | 480 comments That sounds like mud wasps, only I didn't know they were black.

Miriam, you are my inspiration! :) Like Petra, I too have often thought of beekeeping. Right now I live in an area where the houses are right on top of each other so that's probably not very probable. Same reason I probably won't raise chickens here--neighbors would complain I'm sure. I live in a HOA and they aren't very open minded about these sort of things.


message 19: by Terri (new)

Terri | 480 comments Oh Miriam, I forgot to add on my other post, I am in Zone 9, correct!


message 20: by Miriam (new)

Miriam I live in a small town, too, right next to a church! I have thought about hiding a hive inside my wood shop. It was built (by the ijit previous owners) out of an old barn, and is full of gaps where they could come and go! Bees need help right now, but you have to treat for the diseases or you are just making the problems worse!


message 21: by Miriam (new)

Miriam Petra darling. If you go digging up their hole looking for honey, you WILL get stung.


message 22: by Petra X is very happy & even more confused (last edited Feb 22, 2011 12:59PM) (new)

Petra X is very happy & even more confused (petra-x) Lol, its why I asked you, as a former beekeeper (before I became a former person).

Definitely bees and not any kind of wasp.


message 23: by Lorraine M. (new)

Lorraine M. Thompson (lorrainemarie) | 9 comments Petra X wrote: "I have snail problems. Help with that would be appreciated too."

Hi Petra X, I picked up a book the other day and thought of your snail problem. The book is "The sound of wild snail eating" by Elisabeth Tova Bailey. I have only read the first chapter but I must say that thus far I am totally enchanted. Maybe you could do a Ms Bailey, and have your snails come in and visit a while?


message 24: by Petra X is very happy & even more confused (last edited Feb 22, 2011 02:36PM) (new)

Petra X is very happy & even more confused (petra-x) The do come in anyway, along with other assorted wild life, none of them welcome guests. I don't dislike snails per se, I just dislike what they do to my plants. I have a couple of variegated elephant's ears http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/show... in the garden and sometimes they have pure white leaves, but the snails munch them. They also destroy any pumpkins and tomatoes before they fruit. I'm going to look out for Sluggo next time I go to the US (in a week or so).

I've just looked up The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating and I do not fancy a slimy-trailed snail on my bedstand. Say it wandered on to me in the night? :-)


message 25: by Miriam (new)

Miriam lol.

I hear beer in lids, sunk in the soil will trap them. Broken up egg shells, or pine needle mulch, are too abrasive for them to cross. Diatatomous earth (not sure I spelled that right) will also work. I just plant lots of hostas, and tolerate the holes. Birds eat snails, so encourage birds. Chickens are good, as well as guinea hens.


message 26: by Erika (new)

Erika I've done the beer thing but then I had dead snails to deal with and it made me sad =(.


message 27: by Miriam (new)

Miriam That is why I don't worry about it. I have a native plant, yellow loosestrife, that shortly after it blooms, something eats all the tissue between the veins on the leaves. ALL of it. It is native, so I just assume it is part of the natural cycle. It never hurts it. So I just leave it.


message 28: by Erika (new)

Erika I'm planning to do the natural course this year. I'm too much of a wuss to kill anything. It seems counterintuitive when trying to grow things. I'll hope nature takes its course.

Thanks for the tip Miriam.


message 29: by Terri (new)

Terri | 480 comments Also surrounding plants with copper is supposed to shock them and keep them out as well. It doesn't kill them, it just zaps them and they won't cross it. Like a copper strip on a roll, just cut the size you need. I read that in one of my raised garden bed books.

I'm telling you, I'm going to have to start writing a reference guide so I can find all these tips later on after I forget which book I found them in.


message 30: by Miriam (new)

Miriam that is right, terri, i have heard of the copper trick.

But isn't it fun to pull out three or four books to research for a tip?


Petra X is very happy & even more confused (petra-x) Miriam wrote: "I hear beer in lids, sunk in the soil will trap them. "

I've just remembered that's what my father used to do for the slugs. He said that they would fall in and drown but it would be a happy death! Sometimes the wild rabbits would drink the beer - I hope they had a good time afterwards.


message 32: by Miriam (new)

Miriam Hmmm. That might be fun to watch! I know dogs will drink beer if it is within reach of them. It is made from grain.


message 33: by Terri (new)

Terri | 480 comments Miriam: Yes it is fun--the only problem is I end up totally forgetting what I was looking for and getting engrossed in something else. Kind of like what happens when you're searching for the internet. One search leads to something else and before you know you've been on the computer for two hours.


message 34: by Miriam (new)

Miriam giggle... that is what I meant! Just like me! I have two rows of gardening books on my bookshelf, and a whole file box of articles I have pulled, as well as my collection of Garden Gate and Birds and Blooms which are too chock full of info to tear up! Oh, and pages of notes I have taken. I am a bit of an information hoarder. I try to get it all organized, but more is always coming in so it is hard. Hence my word for the year of Purge. And gardening is only one of my interests...


message 35: by K.C. (new)

K.C. Neal (kcneal) | 29 comments Terri wrote: "Also surrounding plants with copper is supposed to shock them and keep them out as well. It doesn't kill them, it just zaps them and they won't cross it. Like a copper strip on a roll, just cut the..."

I tried the copper tape one year, but it didn't work at all for me. :(


message 36: by Terri (new)

Terri | 480 comments Dang, and the copper tape sounded so EASY!


message 37: by Terri (new)

Terri | 480 comments Miriam: I like your word, Purge. Mine is Harmony--something I'd like to attain in all areas of my life. However, PURGE is going to be BIG this year for us. After my MIL's Memorial Service on March 5th, we're going to begin the HUGE task of purging her house of 50 years worth of stuff. She used to be a big garage saler and loved finding treasures (mostly colored glass, dish sets, and various farm-type antiques. She has hidey holes all over the place!

Then we'll be doing our place which is just as bad only different collections. LOL. I'm a quilter (haven't done it in years but hope to again); decorative painter (that's a room full of stuff, right there); four bookshelves of books, including about 30 gardening books. I can pare down my art stuff probably by half but the rest of it won't be as easy. The garden books will of course have to stay, and I have tons of books I need to read before I can pass them on. :)


message 38: by Miriam (new)

Miriam Terri, You have my sympathy. This is going to be a big job for you. One of the reasons I want to purge is that I want to keep from making a huge ordeal for my kids. (I am only 52, almost 3 but have several health issues.)

I have had to do the same for five family members now. After my grandfather died, several years after my grandmother died, my mother came and took anything of value out of their house. She left all the "junk" and clean up to me, so the house could be sold and SHE got the half the money. This was especially hard, since I was supposed to inherit the house, but long story, I didn't get it. I did get my grandmother's bed, a Jenny Lind bed, out of it. My mom took the valuable extremely old 3/4 size sleigh bed instead! But most of the rest was just junk that I had to distribute to the Goodwill, Salvation Army, library sales, and garbage. Plus lots of extremely dirty cleeaning (my grandfather was blind).

Then my great aunt died, and after the bank took care of sending off what was willed away, I got to clean out HER two bedroom apartment. She had a nice glass fronted book shelf, with some family heirlooms in it, but the rest of the furniture was junk, so again, Goodwill, Salvation Army.

Then my uncle died. My aunt was unable to deal with his stuff, and called a year later asking, begging me to help out. So I went up there. At the time, my youngest son, 14, was feeling suicidal, and I was keeping him under a 24 hour watch, so he went with me. When we got there, it turns out that the reason she couldn't deal with his things was that he collected porn, and with his dementia, it was all over the house. She was embarassed, and too embarassed to have friends help out, or to leave it at the curb for the garbageman. So Ben and I searched the entire house for all the porn, took his clothes to the Goodwill, and took all his porn with us to dispose of where it could not be linked to her! He had two types of video cassettes, magazines, and books in three languages! We also arranged for his Russian books to go to the university russian department, his french books to go to the french department, his chemistry books to go to the chemistry department, and his mysteries to go to the library sales. It was quite a chore sorting all those and figuring out which ones were porn (the covers helped alot, but some may have slipped by!).

Then my aunt died. Not only did my sister Beth and I have to empty her house, but we had to move my mentally retarded cousin to a new condominium since he wanted to stay there where his provider agency and staff he knew were. She had a lot of nice antiques, but she would never tell me the provenance or value of them, so it is hard now to know what I can give away and what I need to sell. I accidently gave away a teapot that I know now is worth a couple of thousand dollars, but I know the person I gave it to will treasure it. My sister just decided to have most of it shipped to my house for me to dispose of at my leisure.

THEN, her son decided after only a year, that he was lonely with no family there, so I had to go get him and move him down with me. He still was able to be on his own with lots of assistance, so I moved him in to a condo here. Then 18 months later, he had deteriorated so much that I had to move him in with me. Then he developed a brain tumor, and after provididing hospice services for six months, he died and I had HIS things to give away. Shelves of books (he did read from age 16 until a few years before he died, around age 50 he lost the ability). Many more books he kept buying to fool people that he could still read. Videos and DVDs by the hundreds. Etc.

I still have alot of my aunt's things that I really don't like, would not have bought for myself, or will never ever use. Much of the nice antiques she had I do use, and treasure. But I am still purging. Plus I had three kids, and some of their stuff is still around. It is just overwhelming. I have made so many decisions over that twelve year period, while I was also working a very exhausting stressful job, raising three kids on my own completely, and caring for my cousin. So it got to the point that I just couldn't make decisions for a while. I am better now, hence the purge this year!


message 39: by Terri (last edited Feb 23, 2011 07:23PM) (new)

Terri | 480 comments Okay Jo: I just realized that I'm the culprit this time of posting in the wrong spot. SORRY! I'll continue with my response to Miriam over at:

Have A Non-Gardening Topic You Want To Talk About??

Probably a more appropriate place to post all this. :)


message 40: by Miriam (new)

Miriam I should probably hang there most of the time, I tend to get off subject, but it starts with gardening...


message 41: by Erika (new)

Erika It probably doesn't matter too much, we always get back around to topic =).


Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) Terri wrote: "Okay Jo: I just realized that I'm the culprit this time of posting in the wrong spot. SORRY! I'll continue with my response to Miriam over at:

Have A Non-Gardening Topic You Want To Talk About?..."


LOL! You worry too much! I didn't create it because of you or anyone, I created it because we have a need for a thread like that silly! lol :-)


message 43: by Terri (new)

Terri | 480 comments Ohhhh. Thanks, I didn't want to cause any trouble. :) I shan't give it a second thought.


message 44: by Miriam (new)

Miriam Phew... I thought Jo was bothered by the conversations I seem to get off track! What a relief!

So, can I talk about my town's Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) who I saw this morning? And his questions about my ability to provide counseling in his office? Or should I be good and take it to the OTHER post!


Petra X is very happy & even more confused (petra-x) Miriam wrote: "I should probably hang there most of the time, I tend to get off subject, but it starts with gardening..."

You have such interesting things to say.


message 46: by Terri (new)

Terri | 480 comments Yes Miriam, you do have interesting things to say.


message 47: by Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (last edited Feb 24, 2011 06:37PM) (new)

Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) I wanted a place where we could all feel free to discuss non-gardening topics since we seem to have a lot of chit-chat over all these days, which is great! That way there's a place for every kind of topic so we can talk about and share our lives in general not just when it comes to gardening. It also makes navigating the group easier when you can find threads and folders labeled with topics, especially if you're new to a group, so you can drop in on what interests you in gardening, reading overall, non-gardening topics etc..


message 48: by Miriam (new)

Miriam Thanks Petra and Terri! and Jo for making a spot for us...

I do know our rambles may not interest newcomers. There does seem to be a core group that have similar life issues, such as cleaning out after elderly family members have passed on. And I do tend to preach about mental health issues. I will try to refer us back to "my" page!


Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) :-) I want everyone to feel welcome and comfortable here regardless of what we're discussing :-) And I do drop in from time to time to bring a thread back to topic if we've gone too far off the main path because, well, that's what they pay me for, lol! (Not so much but it's my duty as moderator anyhow lol!)


Petra X is very happy & even more confused (petra-x) I am a newcomer and I thought you were a bunch of really interesting people who liked gardening and books.


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