Problem Small green grasshopper issue

Mje772003

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Jan 27, 2020
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Hi all I need some advice on my eggplant and new apple tree the leaves are being eaten by small green grasshoppers with black dots on their legs I’m in Brisbane and not sure how to handle this as i have tried eco oil but seems to not work

The eggplant fruit are untouched and the citrus are fine
 

ClissAT

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Hi there and welcome Mje772003

Those little GHs sure are prolific at this time of year!
Factoid... GHs breathe through their leg joints!
You can net the plants with a blueberry net if they aren't too big.
I found the best way to deal with any sort of GH was to pick them off into a softdrink bottle & feed to the chooks.
Don't put the cap on, just throw the bottle into their pen & they go crazy when they see the GHs hopping around inside the clear bottle. The chooks will jump on each GH as it finds the exit hole.

If you don't have chooks or have a friend with chooks, then next best thing is to pick them off and drop in a bucket of water with a lid on so they can't escape before they drown. Then dig them into the compost.

I don't know of a spray that will kill them but not the goodies or the people who will eat the fruit or veg.
Pyrethrim will do the job but is non-specific so will kill all the goodies as well.
 

Sabot

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Jan 14, 2020
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Hi all I need some advice on my eggplant and new apple tree the leaves are being eaten by small green grasshoppers with black dots on their legs I’m in Brisbane and not sure how to handle this as i have tried eco oil but seems to not work

The eggplant fruit are untouched and the citrus are fine
I have the same issue, an absolute plague of them have decimated 25% of the garden.
They seem to target the large eggplant leaves specifically but I've also had them go through Sage, Basil, Passionfruit and Broccoli.

Only thing that has worked so far is physically removing them and putting up barriers.
Not sure if Pyrethrin will work on GH, have to give it a go.
 

Mje772003

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Yes looking at non toxic solutions am looking at planting some marigolds to see if this works
 

Sabot

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Jan 14, 2020
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I've resorted to doing patrols every few hours and manually smashing them, not a sustainable approach I'm afraid.
 

Matt Kurl

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getting the same issue with sweet potato leaves. not sure if it bothers them too much but ive been smashing them too
 

ClissAT

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I think with these tiny GHs it's easier to just put up with the damage if the plant can stand it.
It's only for a few weeks, then they are gone.
Chooks are about the only good pest control for those critters.

I remember many years ago in Africa some smart agronomist decided on a form of chemical pest control for locusts when they had a plague much like they are having over there right now.
Trouble was, the pesticide killed all the goodies including birds as well so after the plague ended, there was a major readjustment period for the natural balance to get back to normal. During that time all other sorts of issues cropped up for other crops as well as the subsistence gardeners.
Sometimes it's just not worth bothering about a few pieces of fruit or vegetable that in the end would be cheaper to buy from you local organic store.
If you have chooks, you will get more eggs due to the extra protein they get from the GHs.
 
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Gavin H

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I had lots in the garden went out each day and fed them to the chooks. After a few days the amount is way less. It’s just a bit of maintenance to keep on top of them.
 
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Gavin H

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Yeah when it’s later in the afternoon they seem a bit slower so I just grab them with gardening gloves on and let the chickens eat them, usually I kill them first so they can’t jump away from the chickens
 

ClissAT

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In my experience not much deters them. Chooks do the best job.
But their presence in such great numbers is symptomatic of a greater issue in the garden that they inhabit.
When the natural balance is out of kilter, there aren't enough predators to prevent an outbreak.
Also, once they hatch out of the ground, such critters are attracted to fleshy green leaves containing an excess of nitrogen.

It takes a whole eco system working in harmony to always have the right predators in sufficient numbers to stave off an outbreak of any sort of pest critter.

This is one thing that both the biodynamics and permaculture holistic growing methods try to emulate.

Apart from that, they generally only last one life cycle of a few weeks, then move on. They only eat leaves usually. They might make a bit of a mess but usually don't do too much actual damage to the plant. The plants recover and go on to fruit as usual.
 
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ClissAT

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Apparently there's a fungus type spray available for locusts and grasshoppers but it's expensive, purchased fresh and may need to be stored in the fridge.