Row covers : LUSENET : Freedom! self reliance : One Thread

Well here come the grasshoppers. I seem to have made a tiny bit of progress with them, but there are hordes of them chomping down my fruit tress again. However the trees I planted this winter are too large to cover with the hardware cloth cages I made. I am wondering if anyone has practical experience with row covers and the protective abilities of it against hoppers? I cannot believe it, but in ONE day the hoppers denuded two pear trees. Arrrggggghhh. thanks for any help!

-- Doreen (, June 07, 2001


Wow! Is this just a bad year there, or is this a regular thing? I'm sorry I can't offer any help w/ this. I read this and thought "plague", like in Biblical type, as in Charlton Heston as Moses, Like HOLY MOSES what a mess!!! I don't remember any problem w/ hoppers in west TX when I lived there. Wow again.

-- John in S. IN (, June 07, 2001.

It is like a plague. I saw three grasshoppers the other day that were well over 5" long. I could only kill one of them. They are pure evil and I have absolutely no shame about the FACT that I hate these things. If I had only six or seven thousand on my little plot, I might not hate them so.....but this couple a million is repugnant. It has been especially bad according to the folks who have lived here all their lives. locals were saying that they wouldn't be problematic as we had a fairly wet winter and a good amount of rain, but they were wrong.Unfortunately.

Also, I have a concoction that kills them, but you have to spray it*on* them. You mix half and half yucky listerine and anti bacterial soap in a twenty gallon hose end sprayer and it just drops those buggers dead in their tracks. it will burn plants if you do it mid day, so do it in the early am or late afternoon if needed. It also kills the good guys so you don't want to use it unless you have a serious problem. it is much better than real poison, but the anti bacterial soap is kind of a strange thing...not too sure I like the stuff.

-- Doreen (, June 07, 2001.

You could use dishwashing liquid instead of the antibacterial soap in the mixture. The purpose of the soap is to break down the surface tension of the liquid so it can get into the insects breathing pores and smother them. Two kinds of dishwashig liquids you could try are Joy for a soap based one and Dawn for a non soap based one.

-- Rags (, June 08, 2001.

I was going to suggest using a 410 shotgun but that would probably defoliate your trees also. You can hone your sharpshooter status and use a BB gun and do re-enactments from the movie Starship Troopers.

I wish I could send you a truck load of seagulls. Have you trolled the dump with a load of stinky garbage to get dump gulls to follow you home?

We used to use cheesecloth to cover our trees and shrubs to keep grasshoppers and other bad bugs off, then gather and tape the bottom around the trunk. Just make sure no bugs are caught on the inside of the cloth or it will be pointless to cover them. Cheesecloth may or may not be cheaper than the spun dacron they sell. Most row cover stuff is for keeping the temperature from dropping too far, not a problem this time of year for you. Cheesecloth offers no temperature control but it does allows air to circulate.

I hope you can get rid of them this year. What good is a long growing season if all you can grow is grasshopper food?

-- Laura (, June 08, 2001.

Do some research on odors they dont like. I had trouble with ants in my plum trees chowing down on the fruit. I mixed a sprayer of cinnamin powder and water. The aromatic drove them off the trees. Maybe something like that will work on hoppers.

-- Jay Blair in N. AL (, June 08, 2001.

I'll try the regular dish soap and see if that works on them. Thanks for that info! The cheescloth was eaten in about 3 days. All of the organic stuff says to use a cayenne and garlic repellent...HA! It was as if it had become a more tasty buffet for them. they chomped and chomped on habaneros just as easily. Did I mention that I hate them?? I really don't hate much, but even fireants are better than hoppers.

last year I wanted to shoot them...I just wasn't getting enough satifaction out of ripping their heads off any more. I decided that ammo was too expensive although I did toss off a few 22's at them one day. Really quite good target practice!

Question on the row covers, do you think it would heat the trees up too much? It does get terrifically, horribly hot here. I just have read that they are good for keeping bugs off and they aren't as expensive as shade cloth or hardware cloth...gulp. I can't afford that again.

-- Doreen (, June 09, 2001.

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