Grasshoppers

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Grasshoppers are found all over the world with more than 11,000 different species known to man. In some Asian cultures, the grasshopper symbolizes wealth, good luck, longevity, and good health. In other countries, they may be considered an edible delicacy. However, in America, we typically think of them as invasive pests.

 Size 1 to 7 centimeters
 Color Usually green and brown in color
 Body Structure Grasshoppers have two pairs of wings and two antennae. Additionally, they have long legs which help them jump 20 times their body length. Their camouflage color helps them protect themselves from predators. However, some species of grasshoppers can startle predators by flashing vibrant-colored wings.
 Characteristics Grasshoppers are known for their jumping abilities, but most people aren’t aware they can fly, too! Grasshoppers use their legs to propel them into the air, then use their wings to take flight. Another thing that makes grasshoppers unique is their ears which are located on the underside of their abdomen.

Grasshoppers thrive in warm dry weather, specifically in the summer. During droughts, grasshopper populations tend to increase. Like humans, they are active during the day and rest during the night.

 Habitat & Behavior Grasshoppers are herbivorous insects, which means they primarily feed on plants, vegetables, and other greenery. Additionally, grasshoppers make “music” by stridulating, which is the act of rubbing their hind legs against their forewings.

Grasshoppers are also known to “spit” at potential threats as a defense mechanism. This spit is nicknamed ‘tobacco juice’ because it is brown in color. Though the spit is not poisonous, it can certainly startle a predator.

 Commonly Active Spring / Summer / Fall
 Risks of Infestations Grasshoppers are usually seen as more of an annoyance than a danger, but they actually do pose risks. When they swarm in a large group, they can destroy crops over wide areas which can cause famine or other devastating effects. In the U.S. alone, grasshoppers cause over $1.5 billion dollars worth of damage to crops. This could mean bad news for your garden as well. Since grasshoppers are herbivores, there’s nothing stopping them from snacking on your landscape.