The grasshoppers of Florida

Not usually a target pest of Meryl’s Termite and Pest Control but have a look at this fella! Florida certainly has some large grasshoppers.

grasshoppers of Florida

The grasshoppers of Florida have the potential to get pretty big.

This one seems to be an adult eastern lubber grasshopper, Romalea microptera (Beauvois). A light color phase for this particular species. Friendly and not especially anxious to get off my hand. Nonetheless, these grasshoppers are not without their own set of defensive’s. Adults can secrete toxins and are poisonous to birds and other insects such as ants. Similar to the Cuban tree frog, you should always wash your hands thoroughly after handling (this same rule applies to any and all animals).

Occasionally (similar to certain caterpillars), the eastern lubber grasshopper, along with other species have been of an economic burden to Florida. A few species may occur in large enough numbers to cause serious damage to crops.

We do have some management tips if you find that the grasshoppers of Florida are giving you problems. First of all, the size of the eastern lubber grasshopper would lead you to believe they eat the most but the smaller species of these insects tend to eat more, thus creating more damage.

The abundance of these insects can be regulated through management of the vegetation. If you deprive these insects of their preferred food they will either leave or die. Keeping the grass mowed is very helpful as well. Short vegetation is not conducive of the preferred living conditions or habitats of grasshoppers. If you cannot control them through mowing, you can try hand-picking them. Yuck? It’s not so bad and you could always wear gloves. You can then throw them into a bucket of soapy water or a trash bag to kill them.

So there you have it. Again, not one of our main target pests, but just the same, they can be considered as a pest in Florida when damage is done to crops or vegetation.