What Do Grasshoppers Eat?

By D.M. Gutierrez
Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Louise Docker

What do grasshoppers eat? It might be easier to ask what they don't eat. Although grasshoppers are classified as herbivores (plant eaters), they are not that choosy about which plants are in their diets. Vegetables, flowers and even your lawn are tasty treats for grasshoppers.

Vegetables

Grasshoppers will eat almost any kind of vegetable, including carrots, corn, lettuce, beans and onions. Two items that grasshoppers do not care for are tomatoes and squash, according to the UC Davis Integrated Pest Management program.

Trees

Grasshoppers will eat shrubs and trees. If nothing else is available, they will also eat moss and lichen off a tree's bark.

Grasses and Weeds

When grasshoppers first hatch, their nymphs begin munching on the vegetation around them. Because eggs are laid in uncultivated grassy areas, their early diet is usually made up of native grasses and weeds. Grasshoppers will happily devour both the grass and the weeds in your front lawn once their initial food source is gone.

Survival Diet

Although grasshoppers are not classified as carnivores (meat eaters) or omnivores (meat and plant eaters), they will eat other insects or even their own kind to survive in times of drought or famine.

Quantity

Grasshoppers can eat their own weight in weeds or other plants in a single day.

Grasshopper Control

So what eats grasshoppers? If you want to get rid of grasshoppers in your garden, chickens and guinea hens are your best bet. These creatures may take a bite of your flowers or vegetables now and then, but they will eradicate those destructive grasshoppers.