Increased populations of grasshoppers cause problems in fruit crops
Dry conditions in some areas of Michigan have sparked grasshopper problems in fruit orchards.
The dry conditions in some regions of Michigan have resulted in significant damage to young orchards by grasshoppers (Photo 1). Although not as bad as the major Minnesota invasion of the 1930s when grasshoppers reportedly chewed the paint on houses, in some newly planted peach and cherry orchards in southwest Michigan, young trees have been stripped of more than 50 percent of the leaf area (Photo 2). Under drought conditions, grasshoppers will move from brown, weedy fields to feed on green foliage and sometimes fruit of orchards. Mowing may also remove food sources and cause grasshoppers to invade nearby orchards.
Photo 1. Grasshoppers feeding on peach foliage can cause
considerable damage in a few days.
Photo 2. Young tart cherry tree with severe leaf loss due
to grasshopper feeding
Similar to Japanese beetles, heaviest infestations and damage by grasshoppers will be along orchard borders adjoining grassy fields. There may be a tendency to blame leaf feeding damage on Japanese beetles, the usual suspect. It can be tricky to verify that grasshoppers are, indeed, the culprits causing the damage because this insect is easily startled by movement.
Spray rates per acre*
1 to 2 pt
1 to 2 pt
5.8 to 9.6 oz
7.7 to 11.5 oz
2 to 2.8 oz
10.6 to 21.3 oz
3.2 to 4 oz
2.5 to 3.8 oz
16 to 32 oz
Pyrethrin + Azadirectin
1 to 2 qt
* In most cases, the product’s label does not specifically list grasshoppers under a fruit crop section, but the pest is labeled for control by the compound within another crop group.
** Registered for use in pears only (14-day PHI).
*** OMRI approved for certified organic production.
Dr. Wise’s work is funded in part by MSU‘s AgBioResearch.
- MSU Extension’s Drought Resources
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