Some grasshoppers are considered as pests and non-pests. There are over 10,000 species of grasshoppers throughout the world. To narrow it down further, around 660 different kinds in the United States. there are over 60 species of grasshoppers in the prairies. Another 15 different species are found in montainous and alpine environments and another 10 different grasshopper species may appear with the weather changes. Grasshoppers are found everywhere, except, the North and South Poles.
The club-horned grasshopper generally requires no control. During the spring and summer seasons this grasshopper is often found in pastures. Most club-horned grasshoppers are grey black and tan in color, but there are some that are green and white. You can tell it is the club-horned grasshopper by the distinctive hourglass marking on its back. The wings are short and there are little knobs on the antennae. In Canada, these are the earliest hatching grasshoppers hatching in April. The adult club-horned grasshopper makes a scritch-scritch sound, but where the climate is warm it may sound like a continuous buzzing sound. This grasshopper’s diet consists of western wheat grass, needle grass, thread grass, and many other grasses.
Velvet Striped Grasshopper
The velvet striped grasshopper over winters as a hopper and it resumes normal activity along roadsides and grassy slopes. you can tell this grasshopper by looking to see whether the head is sharply pointed. Next, check the back of the grasshopper to see whether there are two dark stripes, highlighted with a light color. This grasshopper is found in southern Alberta, Saskatchewan, up to Oyen and Leader and in the Oldman River valley near Lethbridge. The main food source for the velvet striped grasshopper is blue grama grass and sedge. Generally, this grasshopper is considered to be a non-pest.
Brown-Spotted Range Grasshopper
The brown-spotted range grasshopper is found when spring arrives hatching from eggs that were laid during last year’s summer months. Check the back of this grasshopper and you will find a constricted hourglass design. This grasshopper has hind-wings that are small and colorless. If you look at the back legs you will find black triangles on them. This grasshopper doesn’t cause much damage to crops as their diet is mainly native grasses and sedge. The fact that they are considered to be a non-pest may be due to the grassland songbirds that eat them as their vital food source.
Two Striped Grasshopper
Two-striped grasshopper hatches 3 to 10 days earlier than other grasshopper pests. You can usually find this grasshopper around the last week of May. If the weather is cool, they may not bee seen until mid-June. These young grasshoppers are light brown in color and seem fatter than other grasshoppers. The two-striped grasshoppers are susceptible to a fungus disease called Entomophaga grylli. This fungus kills the grasshopper when the weather is warm and moist. If in order for Entomophaga grylli to occur, the spores from a previous infection must be available. When the two-striped grasshopper is affected with this fungus infection, the grasshopper will climb to a higher than normal position. There he will clasp the support tightly using all of its legs.
Clear-winged grasshoppers have blotches on the fore-wings and noting the color will help you to decided whether it is a male or female. The blotches on the male are yellow-brown in color, while the females are a dull brown and tan. This grasshopper eats cereal crops and grasses, so they are usually considered as a pest. The eggs over winter and then hatch in early June. The clear-winged grasshoppers are able to cover great distances. They have large wings that will carry them long distances on a warm, clear day.
Lesser Migratory Grasshopper
The lesser migratory grasshopper is one that made history in the 1930s. This is when they flew by the millions from the United States into Saskatchewan and Alberta. The lesser migratory grasshopper is less susceptible to disease than other grasshoppers. One good thing about this grasshopper is that their numbers have declined in recent years.
The Packard’s grasshopper is often found eating pasture grasses, alfalfa and cereal crops. In the years 1983 through 1987, this grasshopper caused major damage to crops. During the years 1999 through 2002, the numbers dwindles and they became very rare. In 2003, the Packard’s grasshopper increased in south-eastern Alberta and Saskatchewan, but only in a few pocketed areas. The Packard’s grasshopper hatches in the Canadian Prairie around June 1. At this stage they resemble the two-striped grasshopper but by looking at their back, you can tell them apart. If you see black pepper spots on their back, this will indicate that you have found the Packard’s grasshopper.