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Author Topic: Grasshoppers  (Read 223 times)
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splinter1804
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Hobbies: I belong to the Illawarra Bromeliad Society as well as the Illawarra Light Railway Museum Society and we restore and operate old 2' gauge steam and diesel locomotives and associated rolling stock
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« on: April 25, 2016, 00:07:59 »

Hi everyone. - A question on another site about grasshopper damage prompted me to write a few lines about my own experiences with these and other leaf chewing pests and I thought I would share them with you all.

How many of us have been shocked to find our favourite bromeliad with the beautiful leaves chewed or an inflorescence bitten almost through and immediately thought that the culprit was a grasshopper, but no matter how thoroughly we searched we couldn’t find any trace of the offender.

GRASS HOPPER DAMAGE

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Grasshoppers come in various colours and sizes but they all have one thing in common, they are all destructive! Once grasshoppers find a nice source of food, they usually hang around until caught and killed, and they’re not always easily seen as they hide beneath the leaves. The best time to see them is when watering in early morning or late afternoon and this is the best time to catch them also, as they seem to be very sluggish in their movements during these cooler parts of the day, and as soon as the water comes near them they try to get away from it and at this time they’re more vulnerable, easily seen, caught and killed.

Sometimes no matter how much you search, you never find the grasshopper which means they have either moved on to greener pastures or possibly they weren’t the offending insect in the first place.

The culprit may well have been an insect called a “Katydid” which are similar to grass hoppers and are just as destructive, but they mostly do their work at night. So go and check over your plants with a strong torch, but be warned, they are masters of camouflage, and not easily seen such as the one in the picture below which looks like a leaf.

KATYDID

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I haven’t seen any of these or grass hoppers since I started using a product called “Clensel Insect & Mite Killer Spray”, which I purchased from the sales table at our Illawarra Bromeliad Society monthly meetings. This product is a natural and efficient garden pest controller and is an effective weapon against many common garden pests such as aphids, spider mite, psyllids, mealybugs, green fly, white fly and scale insects.

It is organically certified and has been an effective natural controller of garden insects and pests for over 25 years; long before being “green and natural” was the “in thing”, and is a proven product with an avid following.  See: http://www.clensel.com.au/insect-mite-killer/  

Clensel is not a poison; it contains Oil of Citronella which is a plant based insect repellent with strong antifungal properties. Unlike Pyrethrum based insect sprays, Clensel will not kill all insects especially beneficial garden insects needed for cross pollination such as bees.

It’s safe for Indoor use, washes off easily with water, has no withholding period nor is it harmful to the soil. It can to be used on most plants and flowers, including fruit and vegetables. (For your delicate plants, just use a more diluted solution)

Clensel does not contain Petroleum based ingredients (such as Paraffin). It contains Potassium Oleate, which is obtained from potassium salts and a mixture of natural fatty acids, which coats leaves in a protective cell and being an ecological insecticide is ideal for usage in glasshouses.

I don’t spray it on my plants as recommended, but just occasionally spray around and under the pot rim and the pot base. I also do this routinely each time I re-pot all plants and find it works effectively and seems to keep insects away when used in this way. It’s most likely the repellant action of the Oil of Citronella in the insecticide that acts as a deterrent, and since I started using it in this way five years ago I haven’t seen any sort of chewing insects on my plants. Friends tell me it’s also very effective when sprayed on the different types of scale, and as it isn’t petroleum based like many pest oil sprays it should be well suited for use on bromeliads.

Many growers are now becoming more aware of the toxic effects of many commonly used insecticides, fungicides and weedicides and the long term devastation they can cause to our environment and I think Clensel can be used with confidence as a suitable natural alternative in the control of many common insect pests.

All the best, Nev




« Last Edit: April 25, 2016, 00:11:07 by splinter1804 » Logged
jaga
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« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2016, 09:19:42 »

Hi all, Nev, very good info. We get the occasional chewing of leaves, but only on a selected few so maybe there are some the critters just dont like?, have grass hoppers , crickets + weta, problem is have so many many many broms that it would take forever to go round them all but do like the sound of the product above so will look out for it here. If I find it can test it out where I see evidence of attacks.

-John.
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