Grasshoppers! They look harmless enough, right? That is until you realize they are the reason for your damaged garden. A grasshopper can eat about half of its body weight in plants per day. That’s a lot of damage!
The last thing you want to do, however, is use pesticides loaded with chemicals in your garden. So, what can you do? In my research, I came across these great all natural methods to repel grasshoppers.
Apple Cider Vinegar Spray
What you’ll need:
- Apple cider vinegar
- Liquid dish soap
- Large plastic freezer bags
- Hand held sprayer
- Pure soap flakes
- Garden sprayer
- Canola Oil
- Mix one part apple cider vinegar with three parts water and add 5g of pure soap flakes. Pour the mixture into a large insecticide sprayer.
- Spray the solution in the early morning on all the leaves, stems, and ground for grasshoppers. If you see grasshoppers thoroughly drench them with the solution.
- Wait two days and then repeat the application. Continue until the grasshopper infestation has significantly diminished.
- Pick up the dead grasshoppers in your garden. Place the dead grasshoppers in a garbage bag and promptly dispose of. Birds will dine on many of the dead grasshoppers in the garden but the vinegar mixture will not harm them.
ACV Grasshopper Trap:
- Fill large plastic freezer bags a quarter of the way full with pure apple cider vinegar with 1 tbsp. of canola oil and place in the rows of the garden. This is an excellent trap for grasshoppers. Grasshoppers are drawn to the solution and drown in the vinegar.
- Pick out the dead grasshoppers from the vinegar traps. Dispose of the grasshopper bodies into a garbage bag.
Plant cilantro on the borders of your garden to keep grasshoppers out. Grasshoppers can’t stand the smell of cilantro. Professional gardeners plant cilantro around their gardens specifically to keep grasshoppers from eating their crops.
You can also place potted cilantro plants around your garden area to create the same barrier. Using potted plants, you can move them around as desired throughout the season.
Garlic Oil Spray
Another thing that grasshoppers do not like is the smell and taste of garlic. Applying a bit of garlic solution to your garden won’t kill the grasshoppers but it could do enough to keep them away.
What you’ll need:
- 3 oz of finely chopped garlic
- 1 oz of mineral oil
- Cheesecloth or strainer
- Spray bottle
- 1 pint of water
- In a bowl, add three ounces of finely chopped garlic with one ounce of mineral oil. Let the solution soak overnight, then strain it with cheesecloth or a strainer. In a clean spray bottle, add one pint of water and 2 tbsp. of the garlic oil solution. Shake thoroughly, then spray on your plants.
- Spray garlic oil on any plants you don’t want grasshoppers to devour. Spray the solution on the plants again every time it rains.
You can also plant garlic throughout your garden to provide an extra defense against grasshoppers.
All Purpose Flour
Dust your plants with all purpose flour. Flour gums up and blocks the grasshopper’s mouth, which prevents it from eating. As we mentioned before, grasshoppers eat about half of their body weight per day so imagine the devastating effect flour can have on the grasshopper population.
One note of caution: When you use this method, make sure you are only using ordinary all-purpose flour. There are certain types of flour, such as self-rising flour, which contain salts that could ruin plants in your garden.
Place molasses glass traps throughout your garden. Dig several holes in your garden just large enough to place an entire glass jar inside, so the lip of the jar is at ground level. Add one part molasses and 10 parts water to the jar, then mix thoroughly. The grasshoppers will be attracted to the jars because of the molasses smell but will fall in and drown. Clean and replace the traps every few weeks as necessary.
Keep a Few Chickens
This method may not be practical for urban gardeners, but more and more neighborhoods are allowing backyard chickens for individual households. Not only can you raise your own eggs, but you can also help reduce the pest population in your yard and garden. Chickens, when left to free range, will consume bugs, thus helping to reduce the insect population. Chicken waste material also makes a great compost.
Check out these great articles for other all natural methods to control those pesky summer insects: