Lubber grasshoppers are the most destructive pest in Charlotte County. If you find one, do not let it go! Lubbers eat at least their own weight in vegetation every day and can quickly destroy crops, gardens, lawns, and even trees by eating away at the bark. They also lay eggs that hatch into hungry little baby lubbers that can fly up to a mile away to find food! These bugs are so bad they’ve been called “the cockroaches of Florida” or “devil grasshoppers.”
The Facts About Lubber grasshopper
Lubbers are easily identifiable by their bright red heads and large black spots. They’re 3-4 inches long, almost the size of a dinner plate! Their coloring actually serves as camouflage for hunters or predators. The young grasshoppers have two large white spots on each side that disappear as they age.
When disturbed, lubbers release a chemical that smells like almonds to scare off predators. Lubber grasshoppers also have an alarm pheromone, which they release when attacked by another animal. The smell is so strong it can even attract other lubber grasshoppers for help!
They are found in southern states like Florida and Texas, where they are a serious invasive pest. They also love to eat crops, so they can be very destructive to farmers.
Lubber Grasshopper Behavior
Lubber grasshoppers have very unusual behavior for an insect. The male lubber chirps by rubbing his hind legs against a membrane on his abdomen called the tympanum. In this way, he is able to attract females and warn off other males during mating season.
During the winter months, Lubbers go into hibernation. The best way to control them is by preventing Lubbers from over-wintering in your home or yard, so make sure you seal up any cracks and windows. Another way to get rid of lubber grasshoppers is by using pesticides, which should be applied to the leaves and stems instead of directly on the grasshopper.
Pesticides can be detrimental to the environment and are not as effective as simply picking lubbers off plants or plucking them out of your garden. However, if you do have some pesticide on hand it’s best to use a natural one like Neem oil or pyrethrin in order to avoid killing other bugs and plants. Pyrethrin works best on lubber grasshoppers as it is very effective at paralyzing their nervous system.
SIGNS OF INFESTATION
If you have lubber grasshoppers, there are a few signs that will tell you for sure. The first is their bright red heads and large black spots. They release a strong disgusting smell if they feel threatened. If there is a bad smell in your yard when nothing has been disturbed it may be due to lubber grasshoppers. They make a sound similar to the cicada by rubbing their hind legs against their abdomen, which is how they communicate. Finally, they fly away in groups if you try to attack them!
If you find any lubber grasshoppers in your Charlotte County home, contact Bug Off Pest Charlotte immediately. We can help rid you of these garden pests and get your lawn or yard back to normal! As always, we are happy to answer any questions you may have about lubber grasshoppers or any other pest. Call us today 941-676-2005
5945 Parada St, Punta Gorda, FL 33982, United States