Grasshoppers are common garden pests, and it is no secret that they can be a significant threat when it comes to flourishing gardens. These herbivorous insects can damage crops by consuming leaves and stems. They generally prefer grasses, grains, and other leafy vegetation. Besides, crops like lettuce, beans, corn, wheat, barley, and oats are susceptible to grasshopper damage. This is why, as a gardener, you are here to know how to get rid of grasshoppers. 
If you want to get rid of grasshoppers naturally, using natural insecticides or natural predators are common practice. Besides, commercially available pesticides can also kill grasshoppers.  
In this blog, we’ll discuss the basics of grasshoppers, how to identify them, and the best ways to eliminate them from gardens, yards, or lawns.  

What Are Grasshoppers?

Grasshoppers are hemimetabolous insects. They belong to the suborder Caelifera within the order of orthoptera. They’re frustrating pests of crop fields, gardens, and rangelands. Besides, if you have a lawn or yard with lots of beautiful green grasses, grasshoppers will be attracted by it. 
Warm, dry climatic conditions are favorable for grasshoppers. Since they consume clip foliage, they can cause your garden plants defoliation (the process of leaves falling off a plant).  
Now let’s learn about the lifecycle of grasshoppers! 

Lifecycle of Grasshoppers

Grasshoppers undergo a lifecycle consisting of three main stages: egg, nymph, and adult.  
In the late summer and fall, adult female grasshoppers lay approximately 200 eggs per season in undisturbed soil. The eggs are typically laid in clusters and are equipped with a protective covering. As soon as the eggs are laid, they start to grow into embryos. However, they remain inactive during the winter until hatching in the spring. 
Once the eggs hatch, young grasshoppers, called nymphs, emerge. They usually feed on green plants. Nymphs resemble adult grasshoppers but are similar and lack fully developed wings. They also go through several stages of molting, shedding their exoskeleton as they grow. During this time, they continue to feed and develop. 
After completing the nymph stages, grasshoppers become adults. To become an adult or imago, they require 30 to 40 days in which they molt five times, and develop through five instars. After they have fully developed wings and reproductive capabilities, they become active in feeding and mating. On average, they live for 12 months.   

How to Identify Grasshoppers?

You can identify grasshoppers by recognizing specific characteristics. However, stick insects, locusts, crickets, and leafhoppers can be confused with grasshoppers. That’s why knowing specific characteristics and traits can help a lot to accurately identify them.  
Here are some characteristics of grasshoppers: 

  1. Common green grasshoppers occur in lowland tropical forests, meadows, semiarid regions, and grasslands. 
  2. Grasshoppers have large hind legs designed for jumping.  
  3. They have sturdy bodies with short antennae. 
  4. Distinguishing features include hind legs with enlarged femurs. 
  5. Most grasshoppers are equipped with wings ranging from 1 to 3 inches, with some reaching 5 inches! 
  6. As of today, there are more than 11000 species of grasshoppers which leads to variations in color and size. 
  7. Despite similarities with crickets, katydids, locusts, leafhoppers, and other insects, the distinct hind legs and body structure can help you identify grasshoppers. 

The Best Natural Grasshopper Control Methods

Once you’ve identified grasshoppers, the next step is eliminating them from your garden, lawn, or crop field.  So how do you want to do it? There are multiple ways that you can employ to get rid of these pesky critters.  
You can use either natural methods or the best insecticides for vegetable garden. Here, we'll go over both. 


The first method we’re to talk about is the simplest of all. Just handpick grasshoppers and squash them. You can also pick them off plants and put them in soap water. However, this can be useful, particularly when their numbers are low. In short, regular inspection and handpicking can be effective for small-scale infestation. 

Protective Covers

You can use metal window screening or screened boxes (AKA bug screen, fly screen, or flywire) to shield plants. However, hungry grasshoppers can chew through cloth covers or plastic row covers. That’s why you should opt. for more durable materials or metal screening that can enhance protection.  

Trap Crops

Apart from protecting your grasslands and gardens using protective covers, you can also grow a border of tall grass or lush green plants and grain crops (e.g. wheat, rye, Timothy Grass) around your garden. These crops can serve as trap crops and divert the grasshoppers from the main crops. You should make sure that the trap crops remain healthy and tall enough to attract and retain grasshoppers. However, it’s worth noting that the trap crops method can be effective where the migration of grasshoppers occurs frequently.  

Common Traps

To capture these pesky hoppers, you set up a variety of traps such as clear panes of glass, sticky traps, or drink bottle traps. These traps can be effective for small gardens or yards where the number of grasshoppers is low. 
If you set up a clear glass pane vertically in your garden area, grasshoppers that fly into the glass will fall into a container of soapy water placed below, where they sink and die. The same method can be applied to kill June bugs or Japanese beetles as well.   
Besides, there are purchasable sticky traps for indoor use. Just place it where grasshoppers are present. This non-toxic glue trap can catch grasshoppers, Japanese beetles, crickets, and other common garden insects.   

Natural Grasshoppers Predators

If you want to know how to get rid of grasshoppers naturally, this method can help.  
Mice, rats, birds, chickens, shrews, gophers, and badgers all eat grasshoppers and their egg pods. You can attract these natural predators to control and manage grasshoppers. For instance, to attract birds, you can set out bird feeders. 
However, if you keep poultry in your cultivating areas, make sure to cover it to prevent scratching by chickens. While applying this method, you should keep an eye on the garden ecosystem as well to make sure that pollinators like bees are safe from these predators. Other than that, there is nothing much to worry about. You can just get help from these predators to control grasshopper populations. 

List of Natural Predators: 

  1. Mice 
  2. Rodents 
  3. Ground Bettles 
  4. Racons 
  5. Chickens 
  6. Shrews 
  7. Gophers 
  8. Birds 
  9. Lizards 
  10. Spiders 

Neem Oil

Does neem oil kill grasshoppers? Yes. Neem oil is one most effective insecticides to get rid of grasshoppers. You can simply apply neem oil solutions as a natural alternative to deter and slow down grasshopper activity. You can use it preventively as well. According to some anecdotal evidence, applying 1.5 tablespoons per quart of water can protect your garden from these dangerous plant eaters. 
Simply mix warm water, mild liquid soap, and pure neem oil, and then spray it on plants and garden soil.  

Vinegar Solutions

You can use a vinegar solution to manage nymphs, which are immature wingless grasshoppers that typically stay in the same location where they feed and hatch their young. Obviously, plenty of pest controls are available in the market, but using them might not be the safest option for you, and your family. 
When it comes to choosing the natural insecticide option, vinegar is worth trying. Mix distilled white or apple cider vinegar with water. A common ratio is one part vinegar to three parts water. Now, place the vinegar-filled container in an open area of your garden where these pesky critters are active. Also, you can spray it thoroughly in the morning when grasshoppers are most active.   

Garlic Spray for Grasshopper Control

Garlic spray is one of the most natural, affordable, and organic deterrents that utilizes the pungent odor of garlic to repel grasshoppers from crops and vegetation. 
To prepare garlic insecticide, begin by crushing two bulbs of garlic to release their odoriferous compounds. Place the crushed garlic in a pot of hot water and bring it to a boil. To maximize the infusion, allow the garlic solution to steep overnight. Lastly, remove if there are any solid garlic particles and spray smoothly.  

Biological Control

If your agricultural land has a heavy infestation of grasshoppers and this problem persists for more than one growing season, you can apply Nosema Locustae Bait early in the season when grasshoppers are still young nymphs. 
To make it more effective, apply the bait near the egg-laying sites to infect nymphs with debilitating diseases. This Nosema locustae is a protozoan used in commercial baits including nolo baits and semaspore bait (organic grasshopper control).  
You can also combine this biological control method with other Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Strategies for a thorough approach.  

Cultural Practices

You can also disrupt the breeding grounds of grasshoppers by tilling croplands. Besides, controlling weeds in and around the garden can constrain the food supply for newly hatched nymphs. However, you should always choose methods based on the severity of infestation as well as the environmental impact of each method. 

Best Chemical Controls for Grasshoppers

It's really challenging for any gardener to make grasshoppers disappear from the garden/lawn/crop fields, especially when the infestation is severe. Besides, the adult grasshoppers are highly mobile which makes it difficult to control them.  
Since they can be the most damaging insects to yards and crop fields, you might be looking for a quick solution along with natural methods. So, what are the best chemical-based insecticides most effective for eliminating grasshoppers? Let’s discuss it! 

1. Carbaryl

You’ll find three types of insecticide formulations – baits, dust, and sprays. The bait contains wheat barn with insecticides like carbaryl or natural grasshopper pathogens Nosema Locustae. This carbaryl bait needs to be spread evenly throughout the garden area. You should also reapply the insecticide after heavy rainfall or sprinkler irrigation. 
Furthermore, insecticidal dust formulation consists of finely ground particles of insecticide mixed with an inert carrier substance. Carbaryl dust can be applied by dusting or sprinkling the formulation directly onto the vegetation or soil where grasshoppers exist. You can use insecticidal sprays as well formulated with carbaryl.  

2. Permethrin

Permethrin is another popular insecticide for grasshopper control. It is available under various trade names and is widely used in gardens. It has a relatively short persistence of effect however it can provide effective control when applied correctly. Some of the common brand names for permethrin or similar active ingredients are Ambush 2E, Permethrin 3.2, and Perm-Up.  

3. Acephate (Orthene)

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, Acephate is highly toxic to insects including insects, bees, and all species of grasshoppers. This chemical has systematic activity in plants which means it can be absorbed and provide longer-lasting control. However, its use is limited to non-edible crops. That’s why it should not be applied in all situations. 

4. Diflubenzuron (Dimilin)

This insecticide is an insect growth regulator that affects through the inhibition of chitin formation. Chitin is a molecule essential for the formation of insects’ cuticles, outer shells, or exoskeletons. When a grasshopper consumes/absorbs a dose of diflubenzuron, it becomes unable to form a protective outer shell and dies during molting. It’s important to keep in mind that though this chemical has a long residual activity but is restricted to use by licensed pesticide applicators on pastures.  

What Are the Best Practices to Prevent Grasshoppers?

If you want to prevent grasshopper infestation from your garden, lawn, or yard, you need a combination of cultural, mechanical, and chemical methods. 
Here are some best practices that can help keep grasshoppers far away from your garden: 

  1. Rotate crops regularly to disrupt the grasshopper breeding and feeding patterns. You can plant different crops each season that can reduce the buildup of grasshopper populations. 
  2. Regular tillage of soil can make an obstacle in grasshopper egg laying and expose eggs to predators. 
  3. Cut off weeds, tall grasses, and other vegetation around fields, and gardens to eliminate potential grasshopper breeding. 
  4. You can use physical barriers such as row covers or netting to protect venerable plants from grasshopper feeding damage. 
  5. Encourage natural grasshopper predators such as birds, spiders, and other predatory insects. 
  6. You can use biological control agents like Nosema Locustae, a protozoan parasite. It’s also effective at infecting grasshoppers with fungal disease. 


Environmental Considerations for Grasshopper Insecticides

When it comes to using insecticides to kill or prevent grasshoppers, you need to be aware of their potential environmental impacts. 
Here are some key considerations:  

  1. Non-Target Effects: Chemical insecticides can harm non-target organisms such as beneficial insects, birds, and mammals. They may disrupt the pollination and ecosystem by killing off pollinators like honeybees (essential for plant reproduction) and natural predators of grasshoppers. 
  2. Residual Effects: Some chemical insecticides can persist in the environment for extended periods. This can contaminate soil, water sources, and plants. Also, residues can be threatening to wildlife and aquatic organisms. 
  3. Drift and Off-Target Movement: During application, insecticides can drift away from the intended target area. For this reason, adjacent crops, water bodies, and residential areas can be affected as well. 
  4. Resistance Development: Excessive dependency on chemical insecticides can lead to the development of resistance in the grasshopper population.  
  5. Human Health Concerns: Insecticides can be highly hazardous to humans. Exposure to pesticides can endanger human health. Toxic pesticides can enter the human body through foods, especially fruits and vegetables, contaminated water, and polluted air. 

Though carbaryl and permethrin are popular insecticides used to get rid of grasshoppers, keep in mind that these chemicals can be harmful in different ways. Carbaryl is moderately toxic to mammals, while permethrin is highly toxic to aquatic life. However biological control agents like Nosema locustae are a better option because they only destroy targeted insects with minimal harm to other organisms.  

The Bottom Line

If you want to keep grasshoppers under control, there are plenty of methods. To get rid of grasshoppers using the most eco-friendly way, encourage natural predators of grasshoppers, and introduce a biological control like Nosema Locustae. 
In addition, protect your plants with barriers like mesh nets, and row covers. Remember that the earlier you act, the less severe the infestation will be. So, treat grasshoppers early with baits, sprays, and dust. Check for their breeding spots, and act as fast as you can. Always pick insecticides that are safe or less harmful to the plants and environment.  

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some relevant questions and answers related to how to remove grasshoppers from the yard, lawn, or garden. 

What Are the Most Effective Methods for Controlling Grasshoppers?

You can implement biological control like Nosema locustae or encourage natural predators to get rid of grasshoppers. However, if the severity of infestation doesn’t allow these methods to be successful, then you pick effective but less harmful pest control like carbaryl. 

Is There a Non-Toxic Way to Deter Grasshoppers from My Garden?

Yes, you can employ physical barriers like row covers to stop grasshoppers. If the number of grasshoppers is low, you can pick them by hand, and sink them into soapy water. Besides, you can homemade apple cider vinegar or natural neem oil to clear out grasshoppers from your land.  

What Is the Best Time to Apply Insecticides for Grasshopper Control?

Targeting grasshoppers with insecticides during their early nymph stages is most effective. This usually occurs in late spring or early summer, depending on local climate conditions.