Notice any clusters of little black grasshoppers with a yellow stripe? Those are lubber grasshopper babies, Romalea guttata. They hatch out in the spring, first appearing in clusters, and often are seen around amaryllis or crinum plants. Lubber babies and adults will devour these and other plants if given the chance. By summer the ‘hoppers will grow to become hefty three or four-inch long lubber adults (like the one pictured), with appetites to match.

Now is the time to stomp these voracious pests before they grow and disperse—the best way to deal with these insects when they appear in clusters on the ground. Go ahead and do a “little grasshopper stomp dance.” For those discovered on foliage, gently push them into a jar filled about half way with water into which a teaspoon or so of liquid dish soap has been mixed. Happy hunting!

Advertisements