Tag Archives: urban garden

Grasshoppers – Friend or Foe in the Garden?

When I was a kid I just loved catching grasshoppers.  I don’t know why, they just seemed fun and harmless.  I was fascinated by them.  I grew up in Atlantic Canada and the grasshoppers there did not seem to be as huge and scary as those I encounter in Southern Ontario.  They seem so big here that they are frightening.  It can actually hurt if one of them whacks me up the side of the head!  I sure don’t try catching them any more.  Until recently, I didn’t realize what a menace they are to a gardener.  I’m writing this article in response to a reader’s request and in response to multiple questions we have received this year from Youtube viewers.

There are hundreds of species of grasshoppers and most are pests to a garden.  Grasshoppers are herbivores.  They like to eat green leaves, which sometimes means grass and weeds but it can also mean leaves of your garden plants.   A “good” year for grasshoppers can appear like a locust plague as described in the Bible.  A swarm of grasshoppers can devour a farmer’s field.  Grasshoppers start out eating holes in leaves but can quickly devour entire leaves leaving just the stem and the veins of the leaf.   I’ll include pictures below.