Also called locusts, the dozens of grasshopper species differ in size, color, and markings- but all flourish in areas with long, hot, dry summers.

Target: All plants, especially grasses and weeds.

Damage: If the insects descend in hordes, they’ll eat plants to the ground, but individual grasshoppers are a threat only to young plants.

Life cycle: The insects usually overwinter as yellowish eggs in the soil or on weeds. Nymphs hatch out early in spring and begin to feed, molting five or six times before reaching adulthood. Most species produce one generation a year.

Notes: In home gardens, row covers are probably the best control. To trap grasshoppers, fill jars with a solution of one part molasses and nine parts water, then bury them so the lip is at ground level. The pathogen Nosema Locustae isn’t effective in the average home garden.

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