Interesting Answers to the Question – What do Grasshoppers Eat
As with any type of animal, insect, bird, and even humans, everyone has food preferences and as you will discover with the answers to “What do grasshoppers eat”, they are no different. Grasshoppers belong to the Orthoptera family, which also includes crickets, cockroaches, katylids, and literally thousands of additional insects.
Although these insects are all related, they each consume different foods. For instance, some eat plants and other insects, as in the case of katylids, which are omnivores. However, grasshoppers are herbivores, meaning they only eat vegetation. For this reason, this type of insect is found in the grass, around gardens, in flowerbeds, and other places where plants grow.
When asking, “what do grasshoppers eat”, we know they like plants but in addition, this insect is not particular. Because of this, grasshoppers will eat blades of grass, vegetables from the garden, and flowers and stems off plants in the flowerbed. When in small numbers, the level of damage done by this insect is minimal but history shows us that when swarms of grasshoppers appear, they can wipe out an entire crop, leaving the farmer with nothing to show for his hard work and financially devastated.
Interestingly, because grasshoppers can fly and walk, they can get to areas where food is located with no problem. Although this insect lives for just one summer season, if in large numbers, the amount of damage they can do is substantial. You will also find that more than 10,000 types of grasshoppers exist, which comes in different sizes, colors, and color combinations. However, regardless of the species, all grasshoppers share one thing – the unique noise heard when rubbing the legs together.
As far as what to grasshoppers eat, the more common species eat not just grass, but also carrots, lettuce, beans, broccoli, barley, wheat, and oat. Even so, the two foods that grasshoppers search for as being favorites include corn and alfalfa. Keep in mind, during lean times, you would find this insects branching out to include trees and shrubs. While the majority of grasshoppers never touch meat, a few of the long-horned species will dine on dead insects of animals.
While one or two grasshoppers here and there are not going to cause damage, considering the long list of foods in regards to what do grasshoppers eat, when a swarm shows up, you have serious problems. As an example, a single grasshopper can eats its weight in food in just 16 hours. That means the amount of grass a single cow would eat in a square yard over 10 acres would be the same quantity that about eight grasshoppers would consume.
If you find you have a problem with grasshoppers, check with your local gardening center or pest control company to see what options of elimination you have. While sometimes the only solution is using deadly chemicals, today we see a growing number of natural or organic products. With this, the infestation of grasshoppers would disappear but you would not have any concern for the family or pets. Remember, the answer to “what do grasshoppers eat” is anything!