A grasshopper will bite if threatened like if you try to pick one up. It may hurt for a couple hours are not poisonous.
Grasshoppers are classified depending on the sizes of their antennae which is also known as horns.
• Long-horned grasshoppers
The long-horned grasshoppers have long antennae that almost equal the size of their bodies.
• Short-horned grasshoppers
The size of the antennae is half their body. The short-horned grasshoppers are the ones that cause huge damages to crops, especially when in big swarms during migration.
The life cycle of grasshoppers
Grasshoppers undergo transition through a simple metamorphosis from egg to nymph and eventually to adult.
This is the first stage and this is where the life cycle begins. Female grasshoppers lay fertilized eggs in the mid-summer and the eggs hibernate through autumn and winter. The eggs are laid in sections called egg pods, with each pod having about 10 to 300 rice-shaped eggs. These eggs hatch into nymphs in spring or early summer.
The nymph resembles mature grasshoppers, only that they are lighter in color and have no wings. They feed on soft and young plant foliage. This stage lasts for about 5-10 days, depending on the species, humidity and temperatures. During this period, the nymph change in form and structure where their sizes increase and wing pads progressively develops.
This is the final stage of the grasshopper development and it usually takes 25-30 days. Here the wings develop completely and the nymph matures into an adult.
Do grasshoppers bite?
Grasshoppers normally don’t bite, but since they are wild, occasionally they might bite, especially when swarming in large groups. The other time when a grasshopper can bite you is when they feel threatened.
Do grasshoppers hurt humans?
The grasshoppers bite but in rare circumstances, especially when they feel threatened and their bites may be painful as their jaws are very strong. The pain is temporal and usually lasts for a few hours.
Even though you may get a grasshopper’s bite, they are not poisonous and you should not worry much. Grasshoppers are in no way dangerous to humans as they don’t contain venom.
What to do when bitten by a grasshopper?
Even though the grasshoppers’ bites are not that harmful, you should treat the wound to relieve the discomfort. You can achieve this through the following steps:
• Check and remove anything the grasshopper may have left in the bite.
• Clean the area with clean water and soap
• In case of any swelling, place an ice pack on the swollen area and make sure the area is elevated.
• Take painkillers such as ibuprofen to relieve pain if the area is hurting.
• Apply anti-itch cream such as calamine lotion.
• Allow the area to heal without interfering or scratching it.
Grasshoppers can be found in any area worldwide except the Atlantic since it is very cold. Grasshoppers love warm areas and therefore, they migrate according to seasons and it is rare to find them during winter. As the name suggests, grasshoppers are commonly found in grassy areas such as meadows and fields.
What do grasshoppers feed on?
Grasshoppers are herbivorous insects and therefore, they feed on plants. They mainly feed on grass and green vegetables too. A hungry swarm of grasshoppers can be devastating as they can eat your entire crop. They also feed on the lawn and hence they can destroy your lawn as well as your flowers, trees and shrubs. Other types of grasshoppers feed on fungi, such as mushrooms and dead animals. Their small sizes should not deceive you as the grasshoppers are heavy feeders and feed four times their sizes.
Grasshoppers defense mechanisms
Grasshoppers pose no harm or danger to humans, pets, or your home, but when they are triggered or feel threatened, they employ some defense mechanisms that can be annoying. These defense mechanisms include:
• Spiked legs
The grasshoppers are geared with spikes on their hind legs and when you try to catch them, it may dig them into your skin. Even though the spikes are not dangerous, they cause irritation or minor injuries that may last for several days.
• Grasshopper spit
When the grasshoppers feel threatened, they release a defensive regurgitation known as the grasshopper spit. The spit consists of partially digested plants and digestive enzymes. This spit is not dangerous to humans, although it does stain the skin temporarily.
Even though the grasshoppers pose no harm to humans, people classify them as pests as they can cause great losses to farms as they are heavy feeders. Therefore several prevention measures have been put in place in form of this procedure:
The first step is to identify the grasshoppers and distinguish them from other insects, such as the crickets. You can identify the grasshoppers easily due to their distinctive features of having long hind legs for jumping, two sets of wings, shorter antennae compared to their bodies.
Once you have known how to identify grasshoppers, go ahead and inspect for their presence by looking for them, their eggs, and their signs, including ragged holes on plants. They start feeding at the beginning of summer and continue multiplying until the first frost and the earlier you detect them, the better. The best time to find them is early in the morning or late in the evening as the cool temperatures slow their movement making it easier to spot them.
You can use several methods to get rid of the grasshoppers from your lawn or yard. These include:
• Use animal predators
The most environmentally safe method is to use animals to feed on the grasshoppers. You can use free-range birds such as chicken or fowl to get rid of grasshoppers as they enjoy feeding on them. Other animals that can eliminate the grasshoppers by feeding on them include turtles, fish, bats and raccoons.
• Utilize organic deterrents
You can spray safe insecticides on the plants affected by the grasshoppers. When the grasshoppers feed on the sprayed plants, they die and hence you get to eliminate them.
A grasshopper is a leaping herbivorous insect that is very similar to cricket in appearance. The different types of grasshoppers vary in color from green to grey. Generally, these insects are not very big and they are about an inch long. They do not have stingers. They are cold-blooded animals that need to warm up before they start their daily activities. Grasshoppers are commonly found in the yard or lawn. They can float on water.
Grasshoppers do bite, although the chances are very low and the consequences are short-lived. They are not dangerous as they do not produce venom and even though they spike when irritated, they can only cause minor injuries.