Lots of Lubbers- What do do?

While some garden pests like to hide under leaves, in the soil, or be so small you cannot see them without a microscope, the Lubber Grasshopper stands out wherever it goes.  You probably have seen this pest lumbering through your landscape, vegetable garden, or your lawn over the past few weeks and are wondering, how do I stop it from taking over?

Lubber Identification

Starting in early spring, the first sign they are here are when you see the young nymphs that will eventually grow into behemoths.  They look like smaller versions of the

An Eastern Lubber Grasshopper. Source: UF/IFAS.

adults but are usually black in color with some orange, red, or yellow markings.  At this age, they may appear in high numbers on some plants or surfaces.  As they mature, they grow larger with each molt and eventually change their color into what is usually yellow with stripes along the body.  Most are full adults in July and August.

 

Lubber Damage

With their chewing mouthparts, lubbers tend to leave tattered edges on plant leaves and have a wide range of hosts.  One of their favorites seems to be the crinum lily but if I go out in front of our office I can find signs of their feeding on agapanthus, corn, and even our holly trees.

Lubber Control

To manage these pests, manual control is often the easiest.  Crushing them on sight is highly effective and recommended since the adults are not easy to kill with insecticides.  Pyrethroid and others labeled for grasshopper control on your site can work to control them but need to be applied directly onto the pests and they may take some time before they actually die.  Be sure to read and follow all label instructions with any pesticide.

You can also work to control them by limiting the amount of attractive vegetation in the area and keeping lawn areas mowed.

For more information on this topic, check out the UF/IFAS EDIS Fact Sheet online at https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in132 or

contact our office at (904)284-6355 or by email at clay@ifas.ufl.edu with any questions.