Lubber Grasshopper Control

Lubber Grasshopper Control
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Lubber grasshopper controlIt just never seems to fail. After answering a friends email about finding lubber grasshoppers in her yard I am shocked to then find them in mine!  See this lovely clivia flower? Look closely at the black insects all over the flowers and you will see why it caught my attention. I waited several years for my first orange flower and I was not about to let it be eaten by these nasty lubbers.
I only found a few in my yard, and they all seemed to be concentrated on this plant. In that case, the easiest control was simply to fill a 5-gallon bucket with water and knock them all into it. For the bunch that was on the single leaf I just cut that part off and threw it in the bucket.  Controlling Lubber grasshoppers
For my friend Dawn it wasn’t that simple. She has a nasty infestation of lubber grasshoppers last year and didn’t want to start seeing them again- especially so early in the season!  Here was my reply to her and hopefully it can be helpful to you too:
Okay, so I am doing some research for you and so far it seems that there are some promising options. I know that you usually do things organically but all of these insecticides will require chemicals. Just something to consider. If you see lots of them still together and small I would definitely recommend cutting those entire branches or leaves and putting them in a garbage bag or bucket of water. It is way easier to get masses of small ones than individual adults.
Here is what I found:
“If there are too many to control by hand-picking, insecticides can be applied. Lubber grasshoppers are not easy to kill, even with insecticides, once they become large. Among the insecticides that will kill lubber grasshoppers are many pyrethroid insecticides. You likely will have to apply the insecticide directly to the insects; the small amount of insecticide residue remaining on sprayed plants may not be adequate to kill the grasshoppers.

Lubber grasshopper controlInsecticide-containing baits are often used for grasshopper control. Bran bait containing corn oil and insecticide is attractive to lubbers, and they will perish after eating only a small amount of toxicant (Barbara and Capinera 2003). However, if there is highly attractive vegetation the lubbers will be less likely to eat the bait, so bait applications are most effective when applied to areas lacking competitive vegetation, or interspersed among less preferred vegetation. For example, insecticide bait might be scattered on bare soil surrounding a vegetable garden to encourage the hoppers to consume bait before they contact the crops.

If insecticides are to be used, be sure to apply them according to the directions on the label of the container. Especially if insecticides are applied to food crops or near water, it is important to heed the directions. Many insecticides are toxic to fish, so it is imperative that open water be avoided.”

Lubber grasshopper control is tough! This can be tricky, so if you go shopping, here is a list of names that you would want to look for below. The front of every package is required to list “Active Ingredients” and that is where you would see the common name.

Cross reference list of common, trade and chemical names of pyrethroid insecticides.

Common name* Trade names** Chemical name
Allethrin Many household products (RS)-3-allyl-2-methyl-4-oxycyclopent-2-enyl (1RS)-cis-trans chrysanthemate
Bifenthrin Capture®, Talstar® [1-alpha,3-alpha-(Z)]-(+)-(2 methyl[1,1′-biphenyl]-3yl) methyl 3-(2,chloro-3,3,3-trifluoro-1-propenyl)-2,2-dimethylcyclopropanecarboxylate
Cyfluthrin Baythroid®, Tame® Cyano(4-fluoro-3-phenoxyphenyl)methyl 3-(2,2-dichloro-ethenyl)-2,2-dimethylcyclopropanecarboxylate
Cyhalothrin Karate®, Warrior®, Demand®, Scimitar® alpha-cyano-3-phenoxybenzyl 3-(2-chloro-3,3,3-trifluoroprop-1-enyl)-2,2-dimethylcyclopropanecarboxylate
Cypermethrin Ammo®, Fury®, Mustang® (+)-alpha-cyano-3-phenoxybenzyl (+)-cis,trans-3-(2,2-dichlorovinyl)-2,2-dimethycyclopropanecarboxylate
Deltamethrin Decis®, DeltaGard®, Demand® (S)-cyano(3-phenoxybenzyl) (1R,3R)-3-(2,2-dibromovinyl)-2,2-dimethylcyclopropanecarboxylate
Esfenvalerate Asana® (S)-cyano(3-phenoxyphenyl)methyl (S)-4-chloro-alpha-(1-methylethyl)-benzeneacetate
Fenpropathrin Danitol®, Tame® RS-alpha-cyano-3-phenoxybenzyl 2,2,3,3-tetramethylcyclopropanecarboxylate
Fluvalinate Mavrik®, Zoecon® Á-RS,2R)-fluvalinate [(RS)-alpha-cyano-3-phenoxybenzyl (R)-2-[2-chloro-4-(trifluoromethyl)anilino]-3-methyl-butanoate]
Permethrin Ambush®, Pounce® (3-phenoxyphenyl)methyl (+)-cis,trans-3-(2,2-dichloroethenyl)-2,2-dimethylcyclopropanecarboxylate
Resmethrin Many household products ([5-(phenylmethyl)-3-furanyl]methyl 2,2-dimethyl-3-(2-methyl-1-proenyl)cyclopropanecarboxylate)
Tefluthrin Force® 2,3,5,6-tetrafluoro-4-methylbenzyl (Z)-(1 RS, 3RS)-3-(2-chloro-3,3,3-trifluoroprop-1-ethyl) -2,2-dimethylcyclopropanecarboxylate
Tetramethrin Many household products 3,4,5,6-tetrahydrophthalimidomethyl (1RS)-cis,trans-chrysanthemate
Tralomethrin Scout® (1R,3S)3[(1′,2′,2′,2′,-tetrabromoethyl)]-2,2-dimethylcyclopropanecarboxylic acid (S)-alpha-cyano-3-phenoxybenzyl ester

This information came from the University of Florida’s EDIS publication and is always the first place I look for information.

Have you seen any lubbers in your garden yet?  Keep your eyes open now so that you can find the groups of small ones and get rid of them before they are a problem.

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