When you think about pest infestations, you likely think about ants, spiders, and even mice or cockroaches. But the truth is that pests come in many varieties. Take the Florida giant orange grasshopper for instance. This is a toxic grasshopper that you don’t want around in your yard, let alone your house. If you are wondering how to get rid of a grasshopper in the house, we’ll give you some advice to consider.
But first, let’s overview some species of grasshoppers that you’ll find in Florida and how to identify them. Most importantly, we’ll let you know if the grasshopper is dangerous.
Types of Grasshoppers in Florida
There are several types of grasshoppers here in the Sunshine state. If you’re living in Florida, it’s likely that you’ll see one or more of the following grasshoppers:
- GREEN SLANTFACED GRASSHOPPER, DICHROMORPHA VIRIDIS (SCUDDER): This is the most common grasshopper in low grasses. Even lawns can have a significant population of this species. Colors vary from green to brown.
- AMERICAN BIRD GRASSHOPPER, SCHISTOCERCA AMERICANA (DRURY) In Florida, this species of grasshopper is the most damaging, eating a wide variety of herbaceous and woody plants. It damages field crops, vegetables, ornamentals, and trees. Unlike most grasshoppers, it perches in trees, flying to the ground or short vegetation to feed, before moving back to the trees. It’s unusual for this type of grasshopper to overwinter as an adult rather than as an egg.
- WRINKLED GRASSHOPPER, HIPPISCUS OCELETE (SCUDDER): This species of grasshopper prefers to eat grass and occasionally does enough damage to pastures in north Florida. The hindwings are brightly colored at the base, with a thick dark stripe.
- SOUTHERN REDLEGGED GRASSHOPPER, MELANOPLUS PROPINQUUS (SCUDDER): This may be the most common grasshopper you find in disturbed and weedy areas. They are sometimes found in crops or home gardens causing damage. There are at least two generations per year.
All grasshoppers are herbivores. Grasshoppers are usually harmless. But some types that gather in large swarms may bite if they feel threatened. Other types of grasshoppers may also bite you if you make them feel threatened. They have strong jaws and their bite might cause minor temporary pain.
What to do if a Grasshopper Bites You
If you’re bitten by a non-poisonous grasshopper, you can follow these first aid steps:
- Remove any debris or insect left in your skin from the bite.
- Clean the bite with soap and water.
- Apply a cold compress or ice pack on the bite while elevating the area.
- You can take ibuprofen or an over-the-counter painkiller if the bite hurts.
- Is the grasshopper bite itchy? Apply calamine lotion or another anti-itch lotion.
- Do not scratch the bite until it heals
If you experience symptoms from a grasshopper bite, such as fever, chills, muscle twitching, and numbness in the mouth, those should go away within a few days.
A Word About the Orange Giant Grasshopper
The Eastern Lubber Grasshopper is also known as the Giant Orange Grasshopper, coming in at roughly 4 inches long. It has beautiful bright colors which are easy to spot. When predators (and even people) stumble upon this insect, they should beware! The Eastern Lubber Grasshopper is poisonous and can give a person who bites it stomach problems or even worse.
Orange Giant Grasshoppers are Dangerous
These colorful and poisonous grasshoppers serve to warn and deter predators like birds and mammals. They can’t hurt humans, but they can make a small bird or mammal very sick.
You should not try to pick up or hold an orange giant grasshopper. This grasshopper will emit a loud hissing noise and release a foamy spray that can be irritating.
How to Get Rid of Grasshoppers in the House: What is the Cause of a Grasshopper Infestation?
If your home offers favorable conditions, you might find yourself with a grasshopper infestation.
You’ve observed a sudden spike in grasshoppers in your yard, and even in your home. What does this mean? The balance of available food, the temperature, and the birth rates of potential offspring has changed in a positive way for the grasshoppers. But what are favorable conditions for these creatures?
Grasshoppers are able to live in most climates and are known to travel long distances. They are commonly found outside your house.
While some grasshoppers feed on plants like crops on your lawn, others will specifically feed on the types of plants you may have on your lawn or in your garden.
To prevent grasshoppers from getting in your house, you’ll need to keep them out of your yard. You can try the following approaches:
- Lawns are often lush with greenery, but sometimes homeowners want to grow the grass higher. If you’re looking for a way to discourage grasshoppers, try mowing a short border around the perimeter of your lawn. This way, pests will have less grass to eat and may be discouraged from hanging around.
- Grasshoppers can be a huge problem for gardeners. When planting a new garden, Zinnias are a good way to encourage the grasshoppers to stay outside of your garden instead of moving into it.
- Stop grasshoppers before they come in. One way to do this is to spray insecticide around the edge of your yard.
How do Grasshoppers Get in Your House?
Poor maintenance is often the culprit. There are many different ways that grasshoppers can get into your house to cause havoc:
- Watch for damage to window or door screens. Wind can blow them off or rain can cause them to expand and break.
- Make sure screens are on the inside, under doors, and over pet doors.
- Watch for vents, grates, and other openings that might allow pests into your home.
- Check for damaged weatherstripping on windows and doors.
- Get rid of any cracks in the foundation outside the house.
Baited with a plant or some kind of food, grasshoppers are likely to try to squeeze through spaces as small as the size of their body. Make sure there are no hidden entryways for them to get into your home.
Grasshoppers Love Hot & Dry Conditions
Grasshoppers mostly stay outside, but they don’t like very cold or very wet weather. Because of this, they may come inside your house in the winter or when it rains.
If your home is hot and dry, this is an ideal setting for a grasshopper infestation. If your home is cool and humid, then the chances of a grasshopper infestation are slim. If you keep your home very hot, then you are in danger of a grasshopper infestation.
One tip that can help drive grasshoppers away is keeping your air conditioning running. Grasshoppers won’t like a cool climate, even in the dog days of summer.
How to Get Rid of Grasshoppers in the House: Use Vinegar
Did you know that vinegar is a natural grasshopper repellant?
Grasshoppers avoid the acidity of vinegar. You can use this to keep them out of your home and to protect your plants.
Use the following ingredients:
- 1 cup of white vinegar, mixed with 3 cups of water
- 1 tablespoon dish soap
Making your mixture:
- Add the vinegar to the water along with the dish soap
- Mix it together
- Pour into a spray bottle.
How to use the vinegar repellant
- Stop grasshoppers before they get inside by spraying vinegar on surfaces and leaves.
- When the solution seems to have disappeared and no longer smells, reapply. It can vary depending on the humidity and temperature. Usually, you’ll have to reapply after a rainfall.
- Be sure to thoroughly test your plant before spraying. Some plants may be sensitive to acid.
- Wait 3 days before the next application. If there is existing damage to your plant leaves, dilute the mixture and try again.
- You may use apple cider vinegar instead of white vinegar
- Keep this repellent spray away from furniture, curtains, and other sensitive surfaces.
What About Dish Detergent?
If you want to get rid of an infestation of grasshoppers in your garden, there are a number of natural remedies you can try. One of the most effective is using dish soap. Simply break off the bottom of a plastic bottle and fill it with dish soap.
If you must handle a grasshopper infestation, you can make a bubble solution by mixing dish soap and water. Throw the insects into the bubble solution, which will kill them by drowning them.
Attempting to spray a grasshopper is ineffective. They will jump away before you can get close enough to spray them.
If you have a serious grasshopper infestation and natural remedies do not work, you might need the help of grasshopper exterminators.
Exterminators that have special training on grasshopper control have the best results. If you’re dealing with a swarm of grasshoppers, you might want to call the experts at Drive-Bye Exterminators. We can help rid of grasshoppers in your home for good. Contact us today to learn more.