Someone’s been eating my zinnias

I’m actually not here right now. I’m in Cape Breton on holiday. So just a quickie to say, like Mama Bear in Goldilocks:

“Someone’s been eating my zinnias. Someone’s been eating my zinnias! Someone’s been eating my zinnias… and there he is!”

I think this might be the red-legged grasshopper. He (or she) is pretty, but no friend to my flowers.

The grasshoppers have been more plentiful than usual in my garden in 2018. Tell-tale signs have been chewed holes in the zinnia leaves and a brush-cut effect on the petals.

Hot, dry weather might have played a factor in the population explosion this year, as this info sheet from Colorado State University Extension explains. But if you’re having the same problem with grasshoppers in your garden, now is a good time to root around your soil to spot and destroy any eggs – check the link for a picture. Be aware, though, that the sheet also mentions many chemical controls that are forbidden by Ontario’s pesticides ban. Manual control is best.

And here he is, ready for his closeup, in a (miraculously) hand-held shot our son took. Look at that face!

Red-legged grasshopper (Melanoplus femurrubrum), looking hungry. Photo credit: Sam Pelletier

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