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Garden Pests Series: K…

Thoughts and musings

Garden Pests Series: K…

Lewis | April 20, 2015 | 0 Comments

…is for Katydid.

What’s the life of an online blogger without bending the rules once in a while?! My point is, in the eleventh issue of Oakleigh Manor’s Garden Pests Series, we will be using artistic licence once more, if you will. You may have noticed in previous issues that some garden pests featured are done so using letters of the alphabet that is only vaguely linked to them. An example is the use of ‘jackdaw’ under the letter ‘J’, where in reality I discussed how birds in general can affect your garden. But as I have mentioned before, finding a garden pest beginning with certain letters of the alphabet can be slightly challenging! With that in mind, the blog post will revolve around the group of insects known as orthopteroid, which include grasshoppers and crickets. The vague link to the word katydid is that this is a common word for insects in the cricket biological family of Tettigoniidae. So with our logic explained (no matter how tenuous), let’s explain what detrimental effects grasshoppers and/or crickets can have on your garden.

As two different species, grasshoppers and crickets can be found in different places in your garden. For instance, grasshoppers can regularly be found in long grass, whereas certain crickets can be found amongst trees and shrubs. The distinct noises that these insects make is an indication of their presence. It isn’t an unpleasant sound, though. Just imagine their famous chirping whilst you relax with garden lighting surrounding you! But I digress. They vary in size, but are all reasonably small. However, couple their music-making with the fact that there are 52 different species in the UK, they can be commonly found.

So enough description! I’m sure you know what they sound and look like. The fact of the matter is that these insects can have a detrimental effect on your garden. As grasshoppers in particular can eat large quantities of greenery both during their adulthood as well as their developmental stages of their life cycle, they have proven to be an adversary to gardeners, especially those who have vegetable gardens, for example.

The best way to prevent grasshoppers and crickets turning into garden pests from background music providers is to manipulate the environment of your garden. For example, planting trees and having instalments that will create shade tends to discourage them. In addition, you can introduce natural predators into your garden, of which grasshoppers have a few such as beetles and spiders, but the reality is that biological control of them is being investigated with little success in the area as of today. Not only this, the conscious gardener should also bear in mind that certain species of cricket, such as the mole cricket and the wart biter bush cricket are protected under UK law. From a chemical perspective, insecticides can be used, but adult grasshoppers have proved difficult to exterminate.

Therefore, the advice provided here from us here Oakleigh Manor is to manipulate your garden. Grasshoppers play a part in the wonderful biodiversity of the UK and when detrimental effects aren’t occurring, they are welcome addition to any garden. Therefore, personally I promote the idea of garden manipulation to discourage them from consuming your precious plants. You can do so using the shade example outlined above, but there are also a number of methods you can use that are widely available online.

We hope you enjoyed this article. Have you been having problems with those that fall under the katydid category? Why not leave us a comment in the section below?