Lubber grasshoppers wreaking havoc in local yards

Lubber grasshoppers wreaking havoc in local yards

The recent heavy rain is drawing out large grasshoppers in the Jacksonville area.

George Richardson of Peninsular Pest Control said the insects, known as lubber grasshoppers, can be a real nuisance.

“They can be kind of menacing because they can be up to three inches long they’re quite ugly and look like little monsters,” Richardson said.

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Richardson said they’ve been busy lately because of the bugs.

“We’re receiving three to five phone calls a day about them,” Richardson said

We found a cluster of them feasting on a large plant’s leaves near Commonwealth and McDuff.

“They like the succulent type of lilies,” Richardson said.

The best way to get rid of them is to treat them soon as they hatch, which is usually in March and April; otherwise they have to be grabbed one by one.

“Take them off the leaf put them in a bucket and in the bucket we recommend to either have rubbing alcohol or soapy water,” Richardson said.

The liquid will asphyxiate the bugs.

The University of Florida’s commercial horticulture agent Erin Harlow has found another use for the critters.

“We do use these grasshoppers for our bug camp every summer,” Harlow said.

Kids will be dissecting the grasshoppers for a hands-on science lesson.

“I thought maybe they’d be a little squeamish last year, but they did really really well I mean they’re just really cool bugs,” Harlow said.

Camp “Incredibugs” runs July 16-20 for ages 11 to 18.

It's $100 or FREE if the camper submits an essay (preferably handwritten, around 500 words) about an insect or group of insects and what makes them incredible. Click HERE to email for more scholarship information.