Grasshopper Annihilation!!!! : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

To those homesteaders in Texas and Oklahoma this could be super helpful. I have found that using a 20 gallon hose hend sprayer with 1/4 yucky Listerine and 3/4 Antibacterial dish soap kills grasshoppers quickly! I am ecstatic about this!!! If you've ever been insanely overrun with grasshoppers you'll understand my joy! Doreen (aka Hopper Hitler)

-- Doreen (, June 04, 2000


bury an open Mason jar in the ground and put 1/4" of molasses in it. The grasshopppers and crickets will hop in to eat the stuff and won't get back out. GL

-- Rich (, June 04, 2000.

That helps, but for what we've got going on here, you would need a mason jar the size of an Olympic swimming pool. Prior to finding the Antibacterial soap mix, I had (well, I still do actually) six cases of Mason jars out and four gallon jugs with the tops cut off and although they were in it, there was no difference in population noticable at all. This is beyond exceptional here this year. I was at the feed store and an elderly man, (guessing mid-70's) was talking about how this was the worst year he had ever seen and he has lived here all his life.

The quart jars are good for small control, though.

-- Doreen (, June 05, 2000.

Doreen, this is a new one on me. Wonder who thought this concoction up? You? Do you dilute it with water or use it straight? Since I'm down to just 2 old roosters, I might be needing this formula myself this summer. I can just imagine the looks and whispers if I check out of my little grocery store with a cart load of mouthwash and dish soap! Wonder what the rumour-mongers would come up with for an explanation? Gerbil

-- Gerbil (, June 05, 2000.

Doreen: Actually, I HAVE heard of using listerine, but thought it sounded hoky, so I didn't try it, as I would need gallons of it, but if you have tried that mixture, and it works, I sure will try it this year. My raspberries were totally wiped out last year by hoppers, and when you have to do acres of control, jars just don't cut it. Thanks for the info, and I'm off to the store to get the ingredients! Jan

-- Jan (, June 05, 2000.

Well, I thought of the combination because I use the Anti bacterial soap at work and noticed it killed some crickets that hang out in the wash out tub. The listerine is really more of a repellent. Also, I felt really kind of strange doing this, but I took ten pint jars and tried all sorts of combinatins on three grasshoppers per jar with a control jar to make certain I wasn't asphixiating (sp?) them. I tried the combos as repellents as well and they didn't eat the listerine leaves. Also, the listerine didn't damage the leaves.

For the past three years I have lost a fair amount of my garden to the grasshoppers and I lost ten fruit trees, raspberries, and grapes. This year, in just one day it seemed like there were literally a million at once and they ate half of my beans in that first day.

Nolo Bait may or may not work. I certainly haven't noticed any decrease in grasshoppers and have used it for three years. This mixture will at least give the initial knockdown needed until the Nolo can start to make an impression, if it does at all.

You do need to make sure that it doesn't become too diluted with water. The solution should at least still be foamy in the hose end sprayer or it will only stun them.

I am so thankful for this discovery! It is really a joy to be able to share it as well!

-- Doreen (, June 05, 2000.

I don't have a hopper problem here. Japanese beetles are enemy number one. I'm going to try this formula on them. They should be emerging in the next couple of weeks and like your hoppers, eat EVERYTHING! Grapes, raspberries, fruit trees, sweet corn, roses, etc., etc. I'm hoping this formula will work on them, too. Thanks for sharing it!

-- Sandy (, June 06, 2000.

I just wanted to say that if I only had a small problem with a particular species that I would try other things first. This mix kills spiders and flies as well as what I believe are chinch bugs. I haven't seen any lady bugs in a while, but I am assuming that this is pretty much like a broad spectrum pesticide. I don't want to kill my lovely earthworm population, or too many beneficials, but this grasshopper problem borders on plague proportions and calls for war. Some "collateral" damage is to be expected.

-- Doreen (, June 06, 2000.

Doreen, Glad you found something that works for you, doesn't sound as toxic as most alternatives and cheap too! Does it bother anyone besides me that antibacerial dish soap is toxic to insects. Obviously it not only has antibacterial properties but insecticidal ones as well. Goodness folks are cleaning their dishes with this stuff and then eating off them. We don't use antibacterial products in our house because I worry about the fact that in the long run they simply result in more resiliant bacteria. I worry we may be selectively breeding some very serious problems.


-- kim (, June 06, 2000.

Kim, Yes it does worry me which is why I was trying to point out that this should only be for extreme cases and not just everything. I know that there aren't any phenol estrins in it and that is probably the biggest unadvertised worry with the majority of pesticides. I read that the average kitchen now has much more in the way of chemicals under the sink than a full-fledged lab did in the early 20's. Kinda scary.

I must say though that it is the only thing that worked out of all of my combo's. I tried cornstarch followed with water, baking soda with a spritz of watered down vinegar, diatomaceous earth, rubbing alcohol, regular dish detergent, molasses with cayenne pepper, garlic oil with citrus oil and cayenne, bleach with water, which I really didn't like the idea of, self rising flour, vegetable oil as a spray and some combinations of the above.

I still think it's way better than using a full on poison. Everyone here in Tx reccommended to dust them with sevin dust EVERYDAY. I have been told by all the locals that you can't have a garden here without some poison, to which I say "Hogwash!". Just have to do some research and experimenting.

-- Doreen (, June 06, 2000.

Doreen - I agree with you! I sure wasn't being critical, I think it is good you found something less toxic (supposedly) that works! I was thinking more about all the folks who use these things in their house. Sounds to me like you do real responsible gardening!!! I think lots of the organic growers use a lot of "organic" chemicals that are not very desirable either.

We garden in the ozarks. I'm battling squash bugs and colorado potato beetle larve now!!


-- kim (, June 06, 2000.

I really didn't mean to be so defensive. I just agree that the anti- bacterial thing if it is overused could jump up and bite us all in the proverbial behind.

It's like the seed manufacturers genetically engineering corn with BT in it, pests will become resistant, then what? By the way, BT should work on your squash bugs and the potato beetle larvae.

A really good organic gardening site for the south at least is Howard Garret's His books are great. Jerry Baker is ok too, but just not as organic as I like.

-- Doreen (, June 06, 2000.

Doreen, do you have chickens? We don't have the massive problem it sounds like you do but when others around us had lots of grasshoppers, we had very few. Chickens eat tons of them. I realize not every one can have or want to have chickens-- just a thought.

-- Peg (NW WI) (, June 09, 2000.

Peg, Yes, I have 16 chickens. I also have 26 guineas, but I just released 20 of them last week as they were only babies! Seriously, you can't begin to comprehend grasshoppers until you live in Texas or Oklahoma. It's nutty! I had six foot sunflowers literally covered from top to bottom in hoppers. I took some pictures lest anyone think I was exaggerating. It's probably like the amount of slugs in the NW compared with the rest of the States.

I am really hoping that all of my young guineas stay around as I know they make a huge dent in the bug population. I would rather they ate them than me having to spray them with the soap solution, but this is truly an exceptional year for the hoppers and I think I would need about 100 guineas on each acre to get this under control! Perhaps through the knock down with the soap and the maintenace by the birds the grasshoppers will be easier to keep in check next year. I met an older man here who has a minimum of thirty guineas in his yard that says he doesn't have any hopper problem. However he has had guineas for ten years, so I am sure that is why.

Thanks for the thoughts on it.

-- Doreen (, June 09, 2000.

Sounds like a nightmare of Biblical proportions. I've written down your Listerine and soap recipe just in case. Wishing you the best of luck in your battle! Peg

-- Peg (NW WI) (, June 09, 2000.

Doreen, are you gaining on the grasshoppers? My chickens would eat grasshoppers for a while when we were having invasions, but then they seemed to get sick of eating them. Cats kill a certain number. Coyotes eat a lot of grasshoppers. I hope you are managing to get ahead, while we've never had as bad a problem here, the hoppers some years still do an incredible amount of damage. Gerbil

-- Gerbil (, June 11, 2000.

I am happy to report that I seem to be making a small dent in the grashopper population! They will probably soon learn the boundaries of my garden hose and then it will be only a small area of green in an otherwise devasted locale! No, they don't seem to eat too many of the adult oak trees which I am so lucky to have, but they have no aversion to any of the younger trees I have planted. It is taking a lot of will power to not just spay everything I can reach with my hose, but I seem to have fewer full grown ones than last week, so that cuts down on the egglaying for certain.

I would be interested to know of peoples experiences with this solution and also if anyone finds out more about the antibacterial soap and possible ill side effects of that. In these kinds of "plagues" this is a Godsend, and I think I will be able to get a few tomatos and okra out of the garden now!

-- Doreen (, June 11, 2000.

Greetings from the grasshopper & tick capital of the world, East Central Okla. We will try your formula 1st thing tomarrow. If this works I will be jumping for joy, hopefully on the remains of our friends the grasshoppers.

-- Okie-Dokie (, June 11, 2000.

Doreen, Thanks for experimenting. =) Your soap and listerine concoction seems to be working on the invasion of grasshoppers here in Eastern Oklahoma. My son and I planted a sunflower garden and the little pest were devouring it! Honestly, I thought about learning how to dip and spit...LOL. AND Fliping them off the leaves was only fun for us and the cats for about two days. Like you I don't like using any pesticides this is a good alternitive. Now, I would like to comment on the antibacterial soap issue brought up earlier. From the studies I've seen and read about, the soap actually isn't that effective at killing more bacteria . Actually, say for example when you wash your hands with it,or any soap, the rubbing action under hot or warm water does most of the work at killing bacteria not the soap. Anyway, Thanks again and goodluck.

-- Gina (, July 13, 2001.

Doreen- Do you think your concoction might work on fireants? Here in Fla I have just lost most of my garden to ants. I had 3 HUGE cherry tomato plants loaded with fruit, they are dead. Next the ants got ALL of the cosmos which I had started from seed and which were just about to bloom. After that went the sunflowers and a few more assorted flowers and veggies. They haven't gotten the corn, the herbs, the green peppers,or the lima beans (yet), not sure if it's cause they don't like them or because they haven't gotten to them (yet!).

-- Elizabeth (, July 13, 2001.

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