Spur-throated Grasshopper

Family Name

Melanoplus punctulatus

Characteristics

Type:

Jumping – Flying

Size:

The largest grasshoppers of this genus can reach nearly 2.0 inches in length, but most are smaller.

Colour:

Spur-throated grasshopper appears as a yellow, orange or green insect with additional colouring of brown or red. The body may be spectacularly coloured in some cases, with bands, spots or blotches throughout and antennas are generally short.

Behaviour:

Melanoplus species eat grasses of all kinds, as well as leafy and grassy agricultural crops and garden plants. They feed on the leaves, and sometimes fruit, flowers and buds, as well as tree bark.

Habitats

Spur-throated grasshoppers will generally be found in fields and open meadows, traveling from place to place.

Tips for Control

Grasshoppers do have natural enemies who attack them in egg, nymphal and adult stages of their life. Predators that eat grasshoppers in the egg phase of life are bee flies, blister beetles, crickets, ground beetles and other insects. Some adults of these insects, such as the field cricket, can destroy up to 50% of the egg population in one area. Natural enemies of nymphals and adult grasshoppers would be birds, spiders and rodents.

Chemical control is also another method that can work in reducing or eliminating grasshoppers. Be sure to carefully read the label for cautions and proper application. It is extremely important to never spray on days that are windy. Over the past few years, diflubenzuron has been the preferred chemical to control grasshoppers. When diflubenzuron comes in contact with grasshoppers, it hardens the exterior of their body causing them to die. The advantage to using this chemical is that it is non-toxic to adult insects like birds, bees and mammals. However, it is toxic to immature aquatic insects.