One of the most colorful insects here in Southwest Florida is the Eastern Lubber. If you don’t remember the name, it’s the big yellow grasshoppers that we see in the summer. You may wonder if they are safe to handle, damaging to crops or dangerous to your kids as they play in the yard. Here are some facts about these big yellow grasshoppers and what you need to know.
Do The Big Yellow Grasshoppers Sting or Bite?
The grasshoppers do not bite or sting. However, this doesn’t mean that you should pick them up or handle them. If you do, they will spray a foul smelling foam as a form of defense. As you might remember from your school days, insects that are brightly colored are generally toxic. While this is a warning for other predators, it also helps people out. Even though it’s not considered toxic to humans, people do react differently. Think about bee stings, some people are very allergic. For this reason we suggest you avoid handling them.
Are They Damaging to Plants?
The grasshoppers are very damaging to all types of plants. When immature as nymphs they love the new buds and growths on plants. While there is only one full life cycle a year, they can be found year round here in south Florida. The females will lay 50 plus eggs in the soil usually below trees and plants.
Since the eggs hatch in the spring after a could snap its not usually to see large groups of nymphs on a plants at the same time. When they first emerge they are almost solid black with a yellow stripe. Quite different looking than the full yellow we are accustomed to seeing. In the picture attached you can see the black nymphs on a Soursop tree in a yard in Sarasota. This picture was taken in late February, right on schedule for these to emerge.
How Do You Control Them?
Since the big yellow grasshoppers (Easter Lubber Grasshoppers) reproduce in such great numbers they can strip a garden or decorative plants rather quickly. The best method is to catch and remove them as often as possible. Unfortunately there can be hundreds if not thousands at a time. If you need to spray a pesticide give us a call.
These grasshoppers are more resistant to pesticide as they mature so they should be controlled early. Most of the pesticides that would be used to control these yellow grasshoppers is also toxic to fish, and care needs to be take around gardens. Lawn Care Extraordinaire has been treating yards and protecting houses since 1979. Give us a call or complete our free online estimate request. We will do our best to answer all your questions and give you some advice.
There are more bugs and pests in Florida than in most other places in the country. We are your local experts and we have seen and treated every type of pest out there. We also understand the correct amounts of chemicals to use. We make sure we use enough to get the job done and no extra. We do our best to keep your family safe from pests as well as the chemicals and baits we need to use for your custom pest control plan.