Apr 3, 2024 - News

Plant-eating eastern lubber grasshoppers are hatching

A dozen small grasshoppers, black in color with yellow and orange stripes down their backs, cling to a small green plant.

Eastern lubber grasshoppers. Photo: Kathryn Varn/Axios

I recently noticed, with great dismay, a couple of dozen eastern lubber grasshoppers hanging around my backyard.

  • They were just babies, an inch or two long, all black except for a yellow or red stripe down their back. It is, after all, their hatching season.

Why it matters: While the pests aren't harmful to humans, they can and will wreak havoc on your plants.

  • And as they age, they become harder to manage, so it's important to take care of them while they're young.

By "take care of," I mean smush them. Smush them all.

  • It's gross, but it beats stomping them as adults, when they're about three times the size with a tough yellow-orange (and strangely beautiful) exoskeleton.
  • You can also use certain insecticides, according to the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, but again, they become more resistant to those chemicals as they age.

The bottom line: Get smashing.

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