Grasshopper Control on Edible Herbs
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Linda
Posted on: October 30, 2001

Is there a way to control grasshoppers without rendering inedible the plant they are munching to death? I’ve only seen one or two of them, but the damage to several plants is major!

Your best bet bet would be to spray with neem oil. It has an antifeedant component and once the bugs ingest a bit of it they lose all appetite and starve to death. The plant will have a slight onion odour for a day or so, which can be washed off with a bit of dishwash detergent, but after about a week there is nothing left. Neem oil is perfectly safe to ingest, it just does not have a nice taste in desserts! (Use 1 teaspoon neem oil plus one quarter to one half teaspoon of dish wash detergent per liter of water.)

On a sunny day you could also spray with pyrethrum soap spray, but you would have to hit each grasshopper throughly to have the soap wash off its waxy cover and have it dehydrate to death in the sun. This spray only needs to be washed off if you sprayed on the day of use. A water rinse to get rid of the soap is all that is needed at any other time.

Cinnamite an alcohol extract of cinnamon oil from cinnamon bark can be used at the rate of one teaspoon of cinnamite per liter of water. It too washes off easily with a rinse of water and in some desserts you may not want to be too thorough!

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