Archive for May, 2011

Lubber Grasshoppers are here!

The Eastern Lubber Grasshopper (Romalea microptera), (also known as Romalea guttata), is destructive to landscape ornamentals, and citrus and vegetable crops throughout the southeastern and south central United States.

Jerry A. Payne, USDA Agricultural Research Service,

Adult stage lubber grasshoppers are generally 6.0-8.0 cm in length and display a dull yellow color with varying black or red spots or markings throughout its body. The lubber grasshopper has two sets of wings, but they offer little help with flight due to their small size.  Nymphs’ coloring is completely different from adults, making them commonly mistaken for a different species of grasshopper.  The nymphs are typically completely black or occasionally dark brown,  with either a thin yellow or red strip on the head and front legs.

Adult lubber grasshoppers exist throughout the year with a decrease in population during the winter.  Females begin laying their eggs in late summer in a suitable patch of soil, usually a dry area.  The eggs remain in the soil until early March where the new offspring hatch and assemble together to find a suitable food source.  This is why we are seeing a spike in population right now.  You can find the nymphs travelling in a group while the adults are solitary.   Lubber grasshoppers are found in all habitats, especially low, wet areas near woods or pastures and along ditches and roadsides.

There are a few different ways to control lubber grasshoppers.  First, if you deprive them of their food source, they will often relocate or perish.  Keeping the grass area around your garden or crops cut low will help reduce the damage. Second, if your field or house is positioned near a moist wet area where the grasshoppers are found, manage them before they migrate and destroy your plants and crops.  If either one of these tactics don’t work efficiently, hand-pick them and place them in a bucket of soapy water or a trash bag to dispose of them.  In cases where there are too many to hand-pick, insecticides can be applied.  However, insecticides are generally ineffective on adults because the grasshoppers are so mobile.  Some insecticides that can be used for Lubber Grasshoppers are: carbaryl, bifenthrin, cyhalothrin, permethrin, and esfenvalerate.  These chemicals must be applied directly to the insect because the ingredients left on the plant leaves are usually not powerful enough to kill the grasshoppers.  If you do use insecticides as a method of eliminating these pests, make sure that you always follow the label.

Grasshoppers are most effectively removed when they are nymphs.

For More information, please visit:

Lubber  Grasshoppers – Subfamily Romaleinae from the University of Florida Entomology Department

Submitted by Nakita Shim

The Great CEU Roundup!

Do you need to catch up on CEUs? In cooperation with the Florida Turfgrass Association, The FTGA/IFAS Great CEU Round-up is being simulcast on Wednesday, June 8 (8:00 – 4:00 EDT).  Topics include safety, calibration of equipment, management of turf grass under stress, turf disease management updates, insect pests, nematode management, and others.  We are  have CEUs available for licensed restricted use pesticide applicators, as well as other certifications as follows:

Up to 2 CEUs Up to 4 CEUs More CEUs
Ag. Row Crop
Ag. Tree Crop
Aquatic Pest Control
Forest Pest Control
Limited Commercial Landscape Maintenance
Natural Areas Weed Management
Right-of-Way Pest Control
Demo & Research
Comercial L&O
Ornamental & Turf Pest Control Operator
Limited L&O Pest Control
Private Applicator Ag.


Palm Beach County is offering this program at our extension office located at 559 North Military Trail in West Palm Beach.  There are 25 other locations statewide as well.  General admission is $75.00; Cooperating Association Members: $50.00; IFAS/UF Staff: $25.00.  Further information and registration for all sites can be found here.  

Free Africanized Honey Bee Pest Management Training

Dr. William Kern will be presenting an Africanized Honey Bee Pest Management program on May 24.  This program is free and will cover the following topics:

  • The behavioral and biological differences between European and Africanized races of Honey Bees
  • Options for safely removing honey bee colonies from structures and outdoor locations
  • Multiple methods for determining locations of colonies inside structures
  • Tactics to minimize risk to PC technicians, homeowners, and the public during colony removal
  • Importance of comb removal during a colony extraction
  • Personal Protection Equipment selection and use when dealing with AHB and pesticides.

View the complete program announcement here.