Aren’t they cute? Don’t let their small size and cuteness fool you. These tiny little insects will grow up to be 3 inches long, with a voracious appetite.
The Eastern Lubber Grasshopper, or Texas grasshopper, is a flightless insect that can become locally heavily populated. We had them in our yard last year – it seemed like they were everywhere we looked. And let me tell you, these things can eat a lot. They had preferences for certain ornamental plants, which quickly disappeared from our garden.
Why were they so prevalent? They don’t have any natural predators. These grasshoppers are toxic and can make animals and birds sick (or even kill them) when they try to eat them.
And talk about scare tactics, the larger ones (which I swear were close to four or five inches) open their bright pink wings and hiss at you when you approach. It’s enough to make you do a double-take.
This is the second batch of hatchlings I have seen so far this spring. Unlike last year, we will stomp them on site, before they can get to adult stage and start eating our vegetables and flowers.
You can see a photo of the adult grasshopper here: http://bugguide.net/node/view/8811