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GRASSHOPPERS

There are many species of grasshoppers in the world, and about 30 of these qualify as garden pests. Grasshoppers have antennae that are generally shorter than their body and short ovipositors. They also have pinchers or mandibles that cut and tear off food. Those species that make easily heard noises usually do so by rubbing the hind femurs against the forewings or abdomen, or by snapping the wings in flight. The hind femora are typically long and strong, fitted for leaping. Generally they are winged, but hind wings are membranous while front wings are coriaceous and not fit for flight. Females are normally larger than males, with short ovipositors. Males have a single unpaired plate at the end of the abdomen. Females have two pairs of valves (triangles) at the end of the abdomen used to dig in sand when egg laying.

Like many other pest populations, grasshopper populations rise and fall. In peak years, grasshoppers eat all the plants they encounter, wiping out entire gardens and fields. Initial signs of feeding by young grasshoppers are jagged and tattered holes chewed in leaves. Grasshoppers prefer to eat grasses, leaves and cereal crops. Some will tend to eat from a single host plant, while others will eat from a variety of sources throughout the day. Only one of the 8000 species of grasshopper will only eat a single species of plant.

In certain countries, grasshoppers are eaten as a good source of protein. They are highly regarded for their high content of protein, minerals and vitamins. They are usually collected at dusk, using lamps or electric lighting, in sweep nets. Sometimes they are placed in water for 24 hours, after which they can be boiled or eaten raw, sun-dried, fried, flavoured with spices, such as garlic, onions, chile, drenched in lime, and used in soup or as a filling for various dishes.

  • Grasshoppers are the most difficult insect to control because they are highly mobile.
  • All grasshoppers lay their eggs in soil.
  • During periods when local outbreaks are developing, control usually involves using sprays or baits.

We devised innovative methods of control ranging from; Natural controls, Baits and sprays.

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