If you have a lot of grasshoppers infesting your garden, you are probably wondering how you can keep them from destroying your plants. You’re asking the question: what do grasshoppers hate the most? What scents, crops, and other methods can you use to deter the hungry insects? Keep reading. In this article, we’ll answer each of these questions and more.
What You'll Learn Today
- Are Grasshoppers Good or Bad for Your Yard?
- What Scents Do Grasshoppers Hate?
- What Crops Do Grasshoppers Hate?
- What Are Some Other Ways to Get Rid of Grasshoppers?
Are Grasshoppers Good or Bad for Your Yard?
Grasshoppers may look like cute little insects, and most people aren’t afraid of them. In fact, in some cultures, they are eaten as a food source or seen as a symbol of courage.
However, farmers and home gardeners typically view them with disdain. Why?
Because grasshoppers are voracious eaters.
According to the Farmer’s Almanac, grasshoppers can eat as much as 16 times their own weight on a daily basis. As herbivores, their diet consists of many different kinds of plants.
Grasshoppers aren’t picky; they eat both leaves and stems of grass, weeds, and many crop varieties. They may even eat the flowers, fruits, and seeds of some crops.
So, while grasshoppers are generally harmless, too many of them can leave your yard riddled and your garden full of desecrated crops.
Check out this video to learn more about grasshoppers and the foods they prefer to eat:
What Scents Do Grasshoppers Hate?
Fortunately, there are various methods you can use to deter grasshoppers. Let’s take a closer look at some common scents that grasshoppers hate the most.
Pepper, Onion, and Garlic
Cayenne pepper contains a large amount of capsaicin, a strong component of peppers that grasshoppers don’t like.
Meanwhile, onion and garlic both contain allicin, which has a similar repellent effect as capsaicin.
These strong-smelling veggies provide a great way to naturally deter grasshoppers without forcing you to use harmful chemicals on your crops.
You can sprinkle cayenne, garlic, and onion powder throughout your garden, reapplying after a rain.
Alternatively, you can throw some fresh onion, garlic, and cayenne peppers in a blender with some water. Blend them up, strain out the pulp, and spray the liquid on your crops.
You can use peppers, onion, and garlic together or separately in these ways.
Herbs are strong-smelling plants with various uses. One of their many uses is as a deterrent for garden pests, including grasshoppers.
In particular, some herbs that grasshoppers hate include:
You can use either fresh or dried herbs, though fresh ones will have a stronger scent. Chop them up and sprinkle them throughout your garden.
You could also boil them in water to make a strong tea. Allow the tea to cool, strain out the leaves, and spray the liquid on your crops.
Again, you will need to reapply this natural deterrent each time it rains.
Essential oils are some of the strongest natural scents around. They are highly-concentrated plant extracts, commonly derived from herbs.
Grasshoppers don’t care for essential oils, particularly those made from cloves and peppermint. These strongly-scented oils will send them hopping away from your garden in search of fresh air.
You can mix a few drops of essential oil in a spray bottle full of water and spritz your garden with the mixture.
As with the other deterrents, you’ll want to spray your crops after each time it rains.
What Crops Do Grasshoppers Hate?
Though grasshoppers tend to eat many kinds of plants, there are some they prefer to avoid. Let’s take a look at some crops you can add to your garden to discourage grasshoppers from invading.
Consider growing onions and garlic throughout your garden. Since grasshoppers don’t like how they smell, these plants will help to keep them out of your garden, protecting your other crops.
Grasshoppers also tend to avoid crops such as tomatoes, peas, and squash, so consider growing these veggies if you have a lot of grasshoppers in your area.
Growing foods that grasshoppers don’t like will not only provide a natural deterrent to protect your other crops, but will discourage them from laying eggs in your garden–thereby diminishing the number or grasshoppers you have to deal with next year.
Herbs and Flowers
Since grasshoppers hate herbs such as rosemary, thyme, and cilantro, growing these throughout your garden can help to keep the pesky insects away.
Peppermint is an invasive herb that spreads like a weed, so you may want to keep it out of your garden. However, you can plant it in other parts of your yard to encourage grasshoppers to find new territories.
There are also some strong-smelling flowers that grasshoppers tend to avoid. Consider planting flowers like lilac, forsythia, and verbena throughout your yard and garden to send grasshoppers scurrying away.
What Are Some Other Ways to Get Rid of Grasshoppers?
So, you’ve planted everything that grasshoppers hate most and used a few homemade natural repellents. You may still be wondering if there are any other steps you can take.
Let’s discuss some more top tips for diminishing your grasshopper population and keeping your yard and garden safe.
Mow and Weed Regularly
Grasshoppers are most at home in tall grass and overgrown areas of your yard. These areas provide protection from predators and harsh weather conditions.
Keeping your yard mowed and reducing the number of weedy areas can diminish your grasshopper population by destroying their preferred habitat. Without the proper cover, grasshoppers will move onto more protected areas.
Sprinkle Flour on Your Crops
Flour can serve as a natural pesticide against grasshoppers. It sticks in their mouths and prevents them from being able to eat normally, causing them to starve.
Dusting your crops with flour will quickly eliminate any grasshoppers that decide to munch on your plants, diminishing the overall population in your yard.
Use only plain all-purpose flour as opposed to self-rising flour or other kinds with added ingredients. Otherwise, the salt and other additives may harm your plants.
Grasshoppers have many predators. Some of the most common include:
- All kinds of birds
- Frogs and toads
Having some or all of these creatures in your yard can help keep grasshopper populations under control.
One of the best things you can do is put up bird feeders and nesting boxes to attract birds to your yard. Many birds are harmless and will help diminish your grasshopper populations without becoming pests themselves.
Like other birds, chickens love eating grasshoppers and will help keep their numbers down in your yard.
Consider keeping a few chickens and allowing them free range in your yard. Chickens can eat a lot of insects and will prevent your yard from being overrun with pests such as grasshoppers.
Plus, as a side benefit, you’ll get to enjoy your own farm-fresh eggs!
There are many scents and plants that grasshoppers hate. You can use these and other methods to control grasshopper populations and keep them from destroying your garden.