Lubbers

“Lubbers”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 

 

Every Christmas, my daughter gives me, as one of my presents, a gift card to a book store.  I use this to buy garden books since some of them can be pricey.  One of the books I bought is Garden Insects of  North America by Whitney Cranshaw.  At 656 pages you can be assured that this is a comprehensive book.  There are wonderful, close up photos, and the lay out and text is very user friendly.  I have called on this book many times since I bought it in 2007.

 

 

One of the insects I recently had to look up was a grasshopper.  Last year was the first year I had seen grasshoppers in the garden.  A few green ones and two or three black ones, which I quickly dispatched, were all that showed up.  This year has been different.  A few young green ones, but more of the black ones with yellow stripes.

 

 

 

The black ones turned out to be Eastern lubbers, and they can plow through plants like you wouldn’t believe.  These things are big – about four inches long and evil looking.  Dear Hubby captured and photographed this one, I wouldn’t touch one with a ten foot pole. 

 

Yesterday there was one in the entry garden that I noticed while I was watering.  I tried to hose it so that it would jump onto the lawn where I could take care of it, but I couldn’t get it out of the garden.  Later, I saw it in a more open area and tried to spray it , but I wasn’t quick enough and only lightly hit it with bug spray.

 

This morning, same thing while I was watering, but this time I was able to knock it out of the garden with a spray of water.  Unfortunately, I was unable to do anything but chase it down the driveway, and it finally got away.  At least, I was hoping that it wouldn’t return.

 

Then, this afternoon while I was trying to take a photo of the bleeding heart vine, I saw another one (maybe the same one that returned?).  This time, he made the fatal mistake of being in an exposed area, and I was able to take him out. 

 

I am really starting to be concerned about these grasshoppers.  From what I have read, the only thing is to spray them, and I do not like to use any kind of pesticides.  The female lays about three batches of fifty eggs, and considering I am seeing more this year, next year may be worse.  There is not too much damage, yet.  A section of ageratum and several leaves of amaryllis were eaten.  I guess I have to start being more vigilant and really check the garden to make sure no more are lurking about.

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7 Comments

  1. August 10, 2008 at 7:30 pm

    Pesty little lubbers! 🙂 I haven’t seen but a couple in my garden this year, now that you mentioned their damaging ways I will be on the lookout for them.

  2. Patricia Louque said,

    August 10, 2008 at 9:32 pm

    I remember my grandmother used to call these tobacco spitters. She said they would spit at you if you got close. I am not sure if this is true, but I wasn’t ready to test it out. I haven’t seen any here in VA, but I remember them from childhood. My grandmother hated them and would grab them and kill them. I couldn’t believe she was so brave. Sometimes the boys would try to scare us with them and it really worked! I am glad I haven’t seen any here. We do have the green type and they too can chew some holes pretty fast.

  3. Jan said,

    August 11, 2008 at 4:47 am

    Well, I have only seen them in the last two years, so keep a lookout.

    Patricia, I remember them from my grandmother’s garden, too. She lived in the country where they were more plentiful. I never remember them from our suburban garden. You are right, they are frightening looking and big. I try and kill each one I can get to without stomping all over my garden.

  4. Alexandra said,

    August 11, 2008 at 11:09 am

    I learned something new today. I never realized that grasshoppers can be harmful. They are all over in my garden…tons of them…small..but tons. I wonder if THEY are the ones that are eating up some of my plants?? =/

    *hugs*

  5. Brenda Kula said,

    August 11, 2008 at 1:05 pm

    I don’t recall seeing any yet. But your spraying it reminds me of one day a few weeks ago, when I was out watering one evening and that darned mockingbird kept nosediving me. I finally sprayed it. Sure made it mad!
    Brenda

  6. nola said,

    August 11, 2008 at 3:27 pm

    You are a lucky duck if you are just now seeing them. Here in central Texas, they have devoured the leaves on about 5 dozen cannas! I don’t mind them munching a little, but they are pigs! The thing I hate the worst is that when I hit them with the spray from the garden hose, they jump like crazy, and I am terrified they will jump on me. I would pass out if they did, I’m sure of it.

  7. Jan said,

    August 12, 2008 at 4:37 am

    Yes, Alexandra, they probably are the ones eating your plant. I couldn’t believe how fast one of those lubbers went through an amaryllis and some ageratum.

    Brenda, I have often used the hose to chase away unwanted animals. There is a neighborhood cat that picks on all the other cats, and he now knows not to come near me when I have a hose.

    I know what you mean Nola about their jumping. You never know where they will land, and I don’t want them landing on me. I remember at my grandmother’s that there were so many of them esp along the rural roads. You are right they are pigs. I have just seen a few and several plants chewed up. I can imagine what it must be like to have more.


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