Have your plants been chewed and you thought it was by aphids but has actually been caused by locusts? Locusts have chewing mouth parts and feed on plants. Normally, locust females lay their eggs in autumn and their brood, which cannot fly, are born in the spring. For this reason, they feed on leaves and stems so they grow in size and change their skin to grow. As adults, they fly and reproduce. If they turn into a swarm, they can have a devastating effect on plants, but even without reaching this extreme, they can cause much harm to plants and gardens. This OneHowTo.com article gives some tips on how to stop locusts from eating plants.
If the treatment area is not very large, you may think that catching them in your hands (although very difficult) is enough. However, each female can lay up to 200 eggs, which makes this solution quite impractical as it is impossible to know whether the locusts have already laid their eggs.
One of the most effective options for removing locusts from plants is to spray them with insecticide spray. There are many products on the market and each has their own operating instructions. Usually, products must be applied once a week to remove locusts and every 2-4 weeks afterwards for continued prevention.
There are repellents based on garlic extract which can give quite good results. These products are applied to the soil and surrounding area. They work by repelling rather than killing them, whilst the unpleasant taste makes the plants less appetizing and they leave in search of more appetizing plants. If you go to a specialty shop, you can obtain advice on the best product for your area.
Another natural option to stop locusts from eating plants is to work with nature. All living beings have a natural life cycle in their food chains and their survival. They eat each other to survive. If space allows, increasing their natural predators can control locusts. Hens and ducks love to eat them.
Another option for controlling locust attacks include home remedies if you want to avoid using commercial products. Homemade or ecological remedies do not harm the environment because they are environmentally friendly. If you want to make your own ecological anti-locust remedy note down the following:
- 125 grams (4.4 oz) of ground grains of paradise or Melegueta pepper
- 500 ml of water (half a litre)
- A spray bottle
Allow the mixture to stand for at least 8 hours, stirring it well. Before spraying it, filter it. You can apply this mixture once a week by using the spray. Apply it early in the morning or evening, avoiding direct sunlight. You should ensure that you properly cover the entire surface, especially on the rear of leaves. Although this extract is natural, it is toxic to humans and warm-blooded animals, so you must apply it with caution.
If you don't have enough homemade solution or it is hard to find ground grains of paradise or Melegueta pepper seeds, this remedy may also be helpful:
- Capsicum (chillies, cayenne pepper or peppers)
- Water to make the product base
These ingredients work equally well together or separately. These are all products that secrete natural scents, like all plants do, but in this case they secrete very strong scents in order to defend themselves against predators.
The result obtained is similar to a concentrated solution which can be used in a ratio of 1:4. Blend a good dose of the ingredient you want to use (such as a whole head of garlic) in a litre of water and then strain the mixture through a cotton strainer or similar.
We also recommend that you consult our article on how to get rid of pests on plants naturally so you can find other good natural solutions.
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