One thing I have discovered, in this our first summer of country living, is that my reaction to bugs is different here than in the city. When I come across a bug or a spider out here I am less likely to jump back and squeal expecting someone else to deal with it. It’s as if I instinctively realize that I am living among a slightly less tamed environment. I am now among dirt, wind, summer heat, turtles, birds, skunks, snakes, spiders and BUGS! Lots of bugs!
Toward the end of June I began noticing tiny grasshoppers suddenly appearing in the yard. I thought they were cute and now that we had some chickens I knew that they were a natural source of food for them while they clucked around as nature’s pest control. Cycle of life and natural bug control made me realize that this was just the sort of setting that would bring pride to a Hobby Farm magazine writer. I was even thrilled to explain it all to the granddaughters of a friend that visited for a Friday afternoon of swimming and lunch!
They were stripping rose bushes, crepe myrtles, pampas grass, along with some young tree near our front door that I have yet to identify. Our tiny, experimental vegetable garden was beginning to thrive with healthy corn, cucumbers and beans. The grasshoppers had it all destroyed in a matter of days!
There were at least 3-4 varieties of grasshoppers. Some green, some brown and some black. At this point, I am not at all interested in learning species names, so I will stick with ID via color coding. One type, when it hopped, actually took off in flight and the way its legs spread out made it look like a butterfly. Kinda cool, actually…but such discovery was not worth the next hopper phase: Operation Clean Up!
After a week of this hopping invasion I was on cleanup control. This was a smelly, icky task that had to be done! I would grab the outside broom and sweep up the now dead hoppers, scoop them up and discard them in a large kitchen trash-bag. That plastic bag was filled with deceased grasshoppers after four days of sweeping. Mind you, this was only the sweep up of those on the porch, driveway and sidewalks.
By now I learned that a grasshopper lives for 10 days and gestation is 2 weeks, so I visited the local feed-store and got some spray in