Grasshoppers... a bad omen?

Monday, July 18, 2022

Link to the Flip image here

Many of us remember Flip the grasshopper who is friends with Maya and Willy the bees in the anime series for kids. The grasshopper represents a wise insect in comparison to the lazy bee Willy and one can wonder whether this work is another message similar to Jean de la Fontaine's or Ivan Krylov's. But let's focus on our illustrious bug. Several cultures in Asia consider the grasshopper as a lucky charm for wealth, longevity, and good health. It is also consumed as a protein intake and considered a delicacy. On our side of the world however, we think of grasshoppers as pests. What is the deal with this?

There are more than 11 thousand species of grasshoppers known to man. This herbivore can consume up to half its weight in plants or crops. When they are spotted in large numbers, it is a sign of drought. And of a problem to your crops. Because they will eat green and brown vegetation on their way. Most of the grasshoppers are either green or brown to help them hide from their predators. Some of them have beautiful colored wings when they fly. Yes! Grasshoppers propel themselves with their long legs to can take off. One of their particularities is to stridulate, i.e. to make sounds by rubbing their hind legs against their forewings. Their ears are located on the underside of their abdomen.

Now that I have spotted one green and one brown grasshopper in my garden, I am starting to wonder if I should shoo them away and how to do that naturally without harming them. They are not picky when it comes to their food but they don't really like tomatoes and that's cool. Because the caterpillars were feasting on my cherry tomatoes a couple of weeks ago until I intervened. So to drive these bugs away, I am simply going to mow my grass short, because open spaces make them visible to birds, and I will soon start building bird houses so that nature, well in fact birds, take care of them. Any other ideas you can recommend? Looking forward to hearing from you!

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