Although grasshoppers are around from spring through fall, late summer seems to be grasshopper season here. They're absolutely EVERYWHERE now.
I'm not 100% sure why or where my aversion to grasshoppers started, but I definitely don't like them.
...did I mention eewww?
I think my first real memory of feeling disdain for grasshoppers was when I was in my early 20's. I lived in rural Pennsylvania then, and spent a lot of time bicycling around the country side. It was great exercise and I enjoyed being out and about on country roads where there was little traffic.
During my rides in late, late summer, I remember feeling like the grasshoppers were practically attacking me while I biked. Of course, they were just hopping from one field to the next and I probably just got in their way. But still, some grasshoppers get pretty big and getting hit when they are in full force jumping mode hurts quite a bit. And there were a lot of them!
It certainly felt like I was under attack.
Although I don't do much biking these days, I still have a real aversion to grasshoppers. Now, though, I am more worried that they will attack my plants rather than attack me.
Grasshoppers can be a real problem in the garden. Within 16 hours, a grasshopper can eat it's weight in green food. That's a lot of eating! And, although they prefer grasses like corn, wheat, and alfalfa, they can and will eat just about anything.
So, what do you do if you have a grasshopper problem in your garden? Row covers will work to protect plants (until the grasshoppers chew through it!), but the best organic grasshopper control is birds. Make your gardens hospitable to birds and the birds will help keep the grasshoppers under control. Bluebirds, larks, gulls and kestrels eat grasshoppers. Chickens and guinea fowl also love grasshoppers.
I think I've got some guinea fowl in my future!