Garden pests are a pain and Cannabis certainly has no shortage of pests. So for today’s pest profile we’re going to discuss grasshoppers, a common pest you may find yourself dealing with in a cannabis grow.
What are they?
Grasshoppers are insects with a voracious appetite for plant material and have been known to devastate crops in large swarms. They are sometimes referred to as locusts, but there is no taxonomic distinction between these and grasshoppers. Locust is a name applied to the various species when they travel in large swarms, but it doesn’t take a locust swarm to damage your Cannabis. Grasshoppers are closely related to crickets in the order Orthoptera.
What to Look For
Grasshoppers are relatively large insects, and are easy to spot among your crop. They love Cannabis seedlings, so it’s particularly important to monitor for grasshoppers during this stage. Most species of grasshoppers have cylindrical bodies, long hind legs, and wings.
How to Treat/Prevent
There are a variety of methods to control and prevent grasshopper infestations in addition to traditional pesticide treatments. Grasshoppers lay their eggs in the soil, so tilling is a good way to expose and kill grasshopper eggs. You can also add targeted beneficials to your soil such as targeted fungi spores that can kill grasshoppers. Also, planting companion crops such as peas or cilantro are a great natural deterrent as grasshoppers avoid these. You may also consider adding bird perches to attract the grasshoppers’ natural predators.
Now you’ve got the goods on grasshoppers. Make sure to check out the rest of the articles in our Pest Profile series.
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About the Author
Chris DeWildt is a graduate of Grand Valley State University and Western Kentucky University. He worked in education and publishing for ten years before joining the team at Growers Network.