Clear-winged grasshopper (Camnula pellucida)
Migratory grasshopper (Melanoplus sanguinipes)
Red-legged grasshopper (Melanoplus femurrubrum)
Pest description and crop damage These species are known to infest and cause economic damage to grass seed crops. These species have overlapping generations. Eggs are laid in fall, overwinter in protective tubular pods under the soil, and hatch in spring. These grasshoppers can fly, which allows them to quickly disperse and find new habitats. Both young (nymphs) and adult grasshoppers feed on leaves, stems, and seed heads and destroy the developing seeds. Bentgrass is particularly susceptible to damage. Crop damage looks like notching, stripping, chewing holes on any and all plants; damage similar to armyworms and cutworm chewing.
Scouting When scouting, first check for numbers of grasshoppers per square yard (7-12) and the number of young grasshoppers. Scout field borders and walk through a field to estimate the number of grasshoppers per square yard as they jump in front of you. A yard measuring stick can help visualize a square yard, just above the crop.
Many insecticides have activity on grasshoppers. However, they are most effective against young grasshoppers. Nymphs are wingless and are found hopping on the ground instead of flying. Grasshoppers are active during the day and rest on the tops or within grasses and weedy areas.
- bifenthrin (Brigade 2EC and WSB) at 0.1 lb ai/a. Apply in spring and fall when aphids are seen. Maximum amount allowed is 0.2 lb ai/a per season. Applications made no less than 14 days apart. PHI 30 days prior to harvest for forage, hay and seed.
- cyfluthrin (Baythroid XL) at 0.02 to 0.022 lb ai/a. PHI 0 days. REI 12 hr. Maximum amount allowed per 5 day interval is 0.022 lb ai/a. Maximum amount allowed per crop season is 0.089 lb ai/a.
- lambda-cyhalothrin (Warrior) at 0.02 to 0.03 lb ai/a. PHI 0 days for grazing and cut for forage, 7 days for straw and seed crop. REI 24 hr.
- lambda-cyhalothrin/chlorantraniliprole (Besiege) at 6.0 to 10.0 fl oz/acre. PHI 0 days for grazing and cut for forage, 7 days for straw and seed crop. REI 24 hr. Do not exceed a total of 27.0 fl oz of Besiege or 0.09 lb ai of lambda-cyhalothrin or 0.2 lb ai of chlorantraniliprole per acre per year.
- malathion at 0.9375 to 1.25 lb ai/a. PHI 0 days. REI 12 hr. Maximum single application rate is 1.25 lb ai/a. Maximum one application of malathion allowed per year.
- zeta-cypermethrin (Mustang MAX) at 0.0175 to 0.025 lb ai/a. PHI 0 days forage, hay; 7 days straw & seed screenings. REI 12 hr. For forage & hay use no more than 0.10 lb ai/a per season; make subsequent applications no closer than 7 days. For straw and seed screenings use no more than 0.125 lb ai/a per season; make subsequent applications no closer than 17 days.
Tillage in late fall can destroy grasshopper egg pods, but is not a means to control feeding grasshoppers. Strips of green foliage (Trap Strips) have been used to attract grasshoppers to a small area where they can be more easily treated
Management - biological control
Birds will eat grasshoppers. There are diseases (e.g., Nosema, fungi, bacteria) that can keep populations down. Eggs can die from mites, parasitic wasps and flies.