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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Monday - August 22, 2011

From: Box Elder, SD
Region: Midwest
Topic: Pests
Title: Grasshopper invasion in Box Elder SD
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I just bought a new home and there is an infestation of grasshoppers throughout the neighborhood. What shrubs and/or flowers could I plant that they may not like to eat?

ANSWER:

We are not entomologists so we probably can't help you much. We can tell you that there are virtually no plants that grasshoppers will not eat. From Grasshopperfacts.net, here is information on What do Grasshoppers Eat?, which is apparently everything, including each other when times are really bad.

We found one reference from North Dakota State University Resources Grasshopper Management Information that offers some help. Local guidance may be found by contacting the South Dakota Extension Service for Meade Co. What we got in general was that when it turns cold, they will be gone, and might not come back in such numbers next year. The swarms are cyclical. We wish we could be of more help.

From Discovery Magazine, we found another article on grasshopper food, from which we extracted this:

"Believe it or not, some people eat grasshoppers, which are high in protein and low in fat. Many people in the United States and other countries cover them in chocolate and eat them like candy. Will someone pass the chocolate-covered grasshoppers please?"

 

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