Have you seen damage on your marijuana plants from Leafhoppers, or otherwise known as Grasshoppers? In this article we will help you identify grasshopper damage on your plants, what to look for, and how to stop these pests from chowing down on your nice healthy green cannabis plants outdoors. Let us help you to stop grasshoppers from eating your marijuana plants.
What is a grass hopper?
A grass hopper is a jumping insect that are found in many habitats around the globe. Grass hoppers move from weed plant to weed plant either by flying to each plant or by using their long powerful back legs to jump from plant to plant outdoors. Normally grass hoppers are a shade of brown, green or black. Why do grass hoppers love marijuana plants so much, well that’s because they are herbivores, which means they eat plants in general and really love tender fresh cannabis leaves for lunch. They will eat stems, and flowers of your marijuana plants. Some different names for grasshoppers are “candy-striped” leafhopper, “red-banded” grasshopper, “scarlet and green” leafhopper and “red and blue” grasshopper.
What does grass hopper damage look like on Cannabis?
Grasshoppers will suck that sap out of marijuana plants much the same way that spider mites do. You will see spots on your leaves that look sort of like crop circles. These spots will normally look bronze or golden in color. Many people confuse grasshopper damage with slug damage. Unlike slug’s grass hoppers do not actually eat the leaves of the cannabis plants and only suck the sap. Slugs will actually consume the plant leaves and it will look like the plant leave were chewed.
Can a grass hoppers kill your Cannabis Plants?
Normally grass hoppers in small numbers can only damage your marijuana plants and not kill them. However, grass hoppers in large numbers can and will kill your cannabis plant unless you take action quicky to stop them. Grass hoppers can eat your marijuana plants.
Keeping Grass Hoppers off you Marijuana Plants
First you will want to check your outdoor cannabis plants for grass hopper damage. You will notice the spots on the plants that were discussed earlier in the article. Once you see these spots on the leaves you will know that you have a grass hopper issue. Check the plants daily to make sure you catch the damage before the leaf hoppers get out of control on your plants. Grass hoppers love hot dry weather and this is when your plants will be at the most risk. If you do not stop the leaf hoppers from damaging your cannabis leaves the leave will eventually start to turn yellow and fall off the plant and die. The goal of checking your plants daily is to catch them as soon as possible to fix the issue. When it plants are dry the grasshopper will get thirsty for water and food and this is the time, they are most likely to strike your plants.
Where to Look for the Leafhoppers on your plants?
These pests can be anywhere on your marijuana plants, you will have to check the entire plant for them, on the stems at the top and bottom, on the underside of leaves and the top of the leaves. Grasshoppers can come out at any time of the day or night to damage your outdoor marijuana plants. They are also smart and if they see you coming, they may try to hide under the leaves so you can’t see them all the grower can see is the leaf damage.
How to stop Grasshoppers in their tracks?
There are many ways to keep Leafhoppers off your out cannabis. The most obvious is to check the plants daily and just pick them off your plants. This is only if there are no issues with damage and you are checking them daily. Just pull off the grasshopper with your fingers and kill it to keep if from getting back on your plant.
Using Neem oil to Stop Grasshoppers on your Marijuana Plants
Need oil is awesome at preventing pests like grasshoppers eating marijuana. You can mix up a solution of neem oil, water, and drop of dish soap to spray with a spray bottle on your plants. Make sure to spray all the plant down very well as the grasshoppers can strike anywhere on the plant. Spray the plants after every rain as the oil may wash off after a while. This is a great method to stop Grasshoppers eating Marijuana.
Attracting Beneficial Insects into the Garden There are many insects
There are many insects that will attack the grasshoppers attacking your plants in the garden. The pests themselves will normally draw predator insects to the garden as they will feed on the grasshoppers and they are a source of food for the predator insects. Some predator insects of leafhoppers include Lacewings, Lady bugs, also birds will help to keep them off your plants. Some insects that will eat the eggs of grasshoppers are ground beetles, field crickets, blister beetle larvae and bee flies. Grass hoppers are in fact prey of many types of wasps and bees. If you would like you can also order Praying Mantis egg sacs though the mail, they will feed on the grass hoppers once released into the marijuana garden.
Net Covers for larger Marijuana Crops
Another way growers can keep grasshoppers off larger crops is to use a fine net to cover the cannabis plants and keep the leafhoppers from physically getting to your plants to damage them. Growers can buy a large net making sure the grasshoppers can not get through the holes in the net. This is very effective at keep them from your plants.
Using Pyrethrin on your marijuana plants
Using Pyrethrin is a great deterrent for keeping these pests off your outdoor plants. Never use Pyrethrin in the final weeks before flowering but it will work great up and until that point in time. It is not toxic to human and is used extensively in many other types of gardens like flower and vegetable gardens. You will need to use this product about once a week as it will break down very quickly on your plants so it will only work for a few days to a week. Also apply it after any heavy rain falls as it will easily rinse off your plants. If you can use this in the evening as it can have a negative effect on good grasshopper prey insects like bees and wasps.
Using Insecticidal Soaps on Cannabis to Stop Grasshoppers
There are hundreds of types of insecticidal soaps you can use safely and effectively on your cannabis plants outdoors. Once sprayed on your plants the product will weaken the outer shells of the grasshopper. This will eventually kill the leafhopper and prevent it from laying eggs on your plants birthing more grasshoppers. When using this product make sure to cover the whole plant once again, applying to any area that the grasshopper has access to.
Using Spinosad Our top recommendation to kill grasshoppers
Spinosad is a great natural product that will not harm humans. If you spray Spinosad directly on your plants it will kill grasshoppers. Once again making sure that you spray the plant well and cover it from top to bottom with Spinosad. When making Spinosad it will be added to water and mixed. It will only last for about 24 hours after you add it to your water, so after if any mixture is left over and not used in 24 hours you should though it out as it is no long effective. Grass hoppers will eat the Spinosad on the leaves and stems and it will attack the bugs nerve system. Spinosad works very well outdoors for killing leafhoppers.
Using a mixture of these things will work even better to Stop Grasshoppers eating Marijuana
You can also use a mixture of these products to help you control leafhoppers. We recommend neem oil and Spinosad to control grass hoppers outdoors.
Leafhoppers are normally not an issue in small numbers, but you will want to be vigilant and use controls to keep them from killing your beautiful outdoor marijuana crop.