Grasshoppers are in abundance in the garden at this time of year and if left unchecked can cause devastation to your plants. The warm temperatures at present are favourable conditions for grasshoppers to breed.
Amazingly on a recent garden renovation, they were having a good chew on a croton (below), which has thick leathery leaves. The Cordylines (above), seems to be much more palatable.
Hatching occurs over several weeks, from Spring onwards, so monitoring and vigilance will help mitigate the pest.The tiny grasshoppers are the size of a match head, when they leave the egg (see life cycle below)
Organic control of grasshoppers can be undertaken by hand picking them, in the morning, when they are slow. They are also attracted to water, so small traps can be made out of a bucket (yellow attracts them), filled with a 90/10 % solution of water and molasses.
Spraying with a proprietary organic insecticide, such as potassium soap, or neem can also provide good control and is is best done early in the morning.
Take a walk around your garden and look for the obvious signs of grasshopper damage, it doesn’t take much to see the negative effect of these pests on your garden.