So, you need to get rid of some pesky grasshoppers in your home.
How did they get in? Why do you have them? Do they bite?
In this article, we’ll cover these topics to get your questions answered:
- The reason why you have grasshoppers
- Where they’re coming form
- Ways to naturally get rid of them from your home
- How to keep them away from your home and garden
- And more
You should have everything you need to know by the end of this page to effectively exterminate and repel these hoppers.
Bookmark this page for easy reference- it’s a comprehensive guide!
And as always, if you have any questions, just leave a comment.
Sound good? Let’s get those hoppers hopping out of your house!
What’s a grasshopper?
A grasshopper is a common pest that’s destructive towards plants, especially vegetables.
You’ve seen one before. It’s that bug that scares you as it jumps out from the bushes unexpectedly.
Similar to other damaging bugs like sawflies, snails, and caterpillars, they’re responsible for millions of dollars in pesticides globally because they chew through common garden veggies and reproduce quickly.
Grasshoppers have a distinct appearance and are easily recognizable.
They have an extended pair of antennae and 6 limbs.
These pests may also have a pair of long wings that extend down their backs.
The most noticeable distinguishing feature to identify these insects are the long, sharp hind legs they use to “hop.”
There may be spines coming out and they’re relatively large to the rest of the abdomen. They also have a large pair of beady eyes and a visible mandible.
A grasshopper has a straightforward lifecycle that’s not complicated.
They go from egg, nymph, to adult.
Adult females lay eggs after fertilization during the summer after they mate in spring.
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The females find a suitable location and deposit an egg pod, which contains up to 100-300 eggs.
The pod is deposited in isolated mud to protect it from wandering predators. Each pod is made from mud and each egg is stacked vertically inside. They look like elongated beans- tan in coloration.
The young nymphs hatch and begin to feed. They look like mini versions of adults without wings upon birth. Shortly after a few molts, the nymph sheds its outer exoskeleton.
They grow a larger skeleton each time and repeat the process. The wings emerge during the nymph part of their life cycle. They molt several times. This lasts up to 4-7 weeks. Wings appear after a few days.
Nymphs reach adulthood after they no longer molt. This takes up to 60 days depending on the food, temperature, and environment. Grasshoppers will begin mating in the spring.
What causes a grasshopper infestation?
Favorable conditions cause grasshoppers.
This means the perfect balance of food availability, temperature, and plenty of babies being born at the same time. If you suddenly notice a bunch of them seemingly appear out of nowhere, there could be an environmental factor that’s changed.
Perhaps a grasshopper predator decreased.
Or the temperature favored them to breed. Or maybe the food was abundant.
Why do I keep finding grasshoppers in my home?
The most common reason why you may suddenly find lots of grasshoppers is that they’re all hatching from eggs.
During grasshopper season, they’ll suddenly emerge and swarm your garden to feast before winter comes.
This is also when most people notice them as they find their way into homes and apartments.
There’s no specific reason other than emergence from eggs or a favorable environment last year. In 2019, there were many grasshopper problems all over the country.
This is because conditions favored them with perfect temperatures, food availability, and mating. You’ll find a ton of them outdoors and in your home.
You may find tiny ones or adult ones.
What do grasshoppers eat?
Grasshoppers eat a variety of green veggies. They’re known to be destructive pests and will devour leafy greens to no mercy.
For gardeners who grow fruits, grains, or veggies, this can be a nuisance. They’re also known to eat flowers, decorative plants, trees, shrubs, and more. The farming industry deals with these pests daily and costs them millions of dollars.
Thankfully, the typical homeowner can control them and protect their plants and home with persistent control methods.
The most common plants grasshoppers eat:
- Sweet corn
- And more
Some grasshoppers are able to eat toxic plants and store the poison to use against predators.
As you can see, the majority of these veggies are grown by gardeners and farmers all over the US. Thus, the pest is a major concern in big numbers.
Where do grasshoppers hide?
Grasshoppers are masters of camouflage and have evolved colors to blend in with their surroundings. They can typically be found in tall, weedy grass and other foliage that help hide them from predators.
If you find them in your home or basement, they likely wandered in or there’s an attractant that’s luring them into your home.
They don’t stay in shelters in nature, so they don’t come into your house randomly.
How do grasshoppers get inside my home?
The common culprit is poor maintenance. There are many different ways grasshoppers find their way into houses:
- Damaged window or door screens
- Under doors
- Through pet doors
- Vents, grates, and other orifices
- Damaged weatherstripping
- Cracks and crevices in the foundation
Although grasshoppers are large pests for their size, don’t underestimate their ability to squeeze through entryways. Especially if there’s some kind of plant that they’re baited to.
Are grasshoppers destructive to plants?
Yes, grasshoppers can be damaging to plants found in gardens.
They can also wreak havoc on crops for farmers or ranchers. They can appear in huge numbers and swarm a crop field within days. Even though they’re considered a destructive pest, they’re still a part of the ecosystem for keeping plants in check.
You should never completely exterminate all the grasshoppers from your yard. You should only limit the population when you start to notice a bloom of them or have a lot in your home.
Remember that they come in from the outside.
So if you want to get rid of them for your house, you need to focus on getting rid of the ones outdoors in your yard or around your home.
If you have a lot of grasshoppers in your home, you can be sure there are even more of them outdoors in your yard.
Do grasshoppers bite humans or pets?
Yes, they can bite humans. Grasshoppers have a set of sharp mandibles and can pierce human skin.
But they won’t do this unless cornered or threatened. This means if you try to catch one alive, corner it, or otherwise grab it and disturb it, the grasshopper may bite you.
This also applies to pets, children, chickens, etc. These bugs have a mouth and will use it when threatened. The bite will pierce the skin and leave a small incision. You may bleed. This is why you should never handle them or catch them without protective equipment.
If you spot one, don’t try to handle it with your bare hands! Scare it out of your home by using a broom and always keep a safe distance.
The bite is usually painful and hurts like a mild bee sting, so they’re not messing around! They don’t sting. They bite.
How to get rid of grasshoppers naturally
Here are some grasshopper control methods that you can do at home to control and eliminate them.
Most of these are natural methods so you can keep your plants, kids, and pets safe. Use a combination of these techniques to control, manage, and eliminate them.
Be sure to do your research first, as some people, pets, and plants may be sensitive to these control techniques.
How to get rid of grasshoppers with vinegar
You can use vinegar to naturally repel grasshoppers.
They dislike the acidity of the vinegar and you can use this to keep them out of your home and guard your plants.
Here’s how to make some:
What you’ll need:
- 1 cup pure white vinegar
- 3 cups water
- 1 tablespoon dish soap
How to make it:
- Add the vinegar to the water.
- Add the dish soap.
- Mix gently.
- Pour into a spray bottle.
How to use the repellent:
- Spray it on plant leaves and household surfaces to keep grasshoppers out.
- Reapply when you notice the solution has evaporated and no more scent. This varies depending on humidity and temperatures. Usually, you’ll have to reapply after rain.
- Be sure to test a small portion on plants before you spray the entire thing. Some plants may be sensitive to acid.
- Wait 3 days before spraying again. If you discover damage on your plant leaves, dilute the mixture. Then try again.
- You can also use apple cider vinegar as a substitute.
- Some household surfaces may be damaged by this spray. Don’t spray it on sensitive surfaces.
Will Dawn dish soap kill grasshoppers?
Yes, dish soap can be used as a quick insecticide for them. You can mix dish soap and water to make a bubble solution that you can toss grasshoppers into. This will kill them by drowning them.
Note that spraying dish soap directly on a grasshopper is very ineffective. They’ll just escape before you can even approach them.
And even if you can sneak up, you’ll only get a single spritz on them before they jump. You won’t kill any just by spraying them with dish detergent. You should only use it or drown them.
BTW: Any dish detergent works. You don’t have to only use Dawn.
Use neem oil
Neem oil can be purchased at most nurseries and hardware stores.
Neem is a natural pesticide that can kill grasshoppers and a whole host of other bugs. Most pests are sensitive to neem, which is why it’s the active ingredients in many different commercial stores bought bug killer.
Neem comes from neem trees and used as a natural disinfectant, essential oil, and pesticide.
Buy a bottle and use it as directed. Read the directions and follow them.
Typically, you’ll mix it with some water if it’s not premixed and spray it on plants and surfaces to keep bugs out. This will naturally keep grasshoppers out of your home and away from your yard.
Be careful when using neem on plants, as it can burn them. You’ll want to test it on a small leaf first to see how the plant reacts.
Also, don’t use it in direct sunlight or when it’s hot outdoors. Neem leaves a film on the leaves which can suffocate the plant.
The oil doesn’t come off easily so it lasts for some time on the plant. This is nice because you don’t need to keep spraying it over and over again.
After you spray, you should rinse off the excess with a hose a few minutes afterward. Again, READ the label and follow the directions. Each manufacturer does it differently. Call or contact them if you have questions!
Make pepper spray
You can use a DIY pepper spray to instantly repel grasshoppers.
Not only does this help deter them from your home and yard, but pepper spray also has a lasting residual effect so you don’t need to reapply it every single day.
You can make your own hot pepper spray at home using a combination of hot peppers and crushing them together.
Here’s a simple recipe:
- 1 whole jalapeno
- 1 ghost pepper
- A few scoops of pepper
Put the peppers into a blender and liquify them. Add a cup of water. Then pour it all into a spray bottle.
Add some pepper to the mix and shake well. The liquid should be 100% liquid at this point. Use this around the home in areas where you see grasshopper activity.
Be careful when spraying this on surfaces, as the pepper can damage paint and furniture. You should only use it on tough durable surfaces like concrete, foundation, or laminated weatherproof wood.
Consider these areas where grasshoppers can gain entry into your home:
- Under door frames
- Around windows
- Ventilation grates
- Crawl spaces
- Pet doors
- Damaged window screens
- Loose weatherstripping
- Cracks and crevices
- Door screens
- Pets and animals (they can hitchhike on pet fur)
- Patio doors
You should never spray hot pepper on anything that’s stainable. You can use a small piece of cardboard and spray it on that to soak it up. Then slide the piece of cardboard in areas that you want to keep them out of.
Because the scent is strong, you should avoid placing the repellent stations in areas that you’ll be spending a lot of time in.
If you plan to spray houseplants, watch out for sensitive plants! Any edibles may also end up burning you because they’re too hot. So be sure to wash them.
Use diatomaceous earth
Diatomaceous earth (DE) kills grasshoppers through dehydration.
This crystalline powder is basically a highly abrasive substance that cuts through the hard exoskeleton of grasshoppers, cockroaches, ants, and even beetles in the home. The key is to make the pest actually drag their body over it.
This then cuts up their carapace with tons of microscopic cuts that will dehydrate them over time. If you can make them get the diatomaceous earth stuck to their body, they’ll slowly dehydrate over time.
You can sprinkle DE around the home in areas where grasshoppers are likely to traverse:
- Corners of rooms and basements
- Along the walls and baseboard edges
- Plant soil
- Areas with low moisture or humidity
- Under doors
- Around window sills
- Sliding doors
- Pet doors
Diatomaceous earth can only be used in DRY rooms. Humid or moist conditions may diminish the effectiveness of the powder.
DE is safe for humans and a natural substance to kill these pests. However, you should still use protective gloves, goggles, and long sleeves.
Also, don’t place the DE where you’ll come into contact with it and food-prep areas.
Watch out for kids, other people, and pets. The trick is to sprinkle some where only the bugs will come into contact with the DE, but no one else.
Sprinkle boric acid
Boric acid can be purchased in the laundry aisle at department stores.
Simply sprinkle some in key areas where you suspect the hoppers to be and this will kill them over time by dehydrating them.
Similar to diatomaceous earth, boric acid is a natural substance and is relatively harmless to most people in small quantities.
However, you should still read the label and use it under caution. Consider sprinkling the acid in areas that people and pets can’t reach, but pests can.
Spray some garlic
Similar to pepper spray, you can also make a garlic spray at home.
This is a cheap, quick, and easy DIY home remedy to naturally get rid of grasshoppers. To make some, just mince and liquify some garlic using a blender.
Add some water to dilute it and pour the garlic chunks and water into a spray bottle. Spray it around the home and outdoors to repel grasshoppers and other pests. Garlic works well against flies in the home and as a repellent for spiders.
As with any repellent spray, be sure you exercise caution as it can burn and damage surfaces and plants.
Before using it on your plants, always test on a small leaf first. Come back in 3 days and check for damage. If you see burning, dilute it or use less garlic.
Why not remove them by hand? If you’re not squeamish, you can use a manual removal technique to get rid of a bunch of them at the same time.
Here’s how to manually remove grasshoppers:
- Get a bucket full of dish soap and water. Add as much soap as you need to make the water slightly soapy. Don’t overdo it. There’s no magic amount.
- The amount varies depending on how big the bucket is and the amount of water you use. Just guesstimate. The top layer should be visibly bubbly after stirring the mixture. A bigger container works best.
- Find a bush or plant that’s infested with grasshoppers. Slowly sneak up and place the container right below the leaves they’re hanging out on.
- Place it directly under the grasshoppers.
- Put on a protective garden glove and get a long stick or pole.
- Gently “tip” the grasshoppers off the leaf. Chances are they’ll drop directly down into the bucket of water. This will cause them to drown.
You can even leave the bucket there for another round later on. This method is natural and can be very effective if you’re good at being stealthy.
Set up sticky traps
Sticky traps are a safe and effective way to control their population.
You can buy them at most hardware stores and use them as the label directs. Basically, you just stick them in areas that you think hoppers are hopping across.
The hopper gets caught and you dispose of them. Most don’t use any harmful poisons, but you should verify by reading the label. Everything you need to know is on the label. But it’s a shame that people don’t do it. But that’s not you, right?
Consider using sticky traps as they’re pretty effective and don’t leave behind nasty chemicals in your home.
Some are even usable outdoors. The key is to place them in strategic areas of your home to catch the grasshoppers when they walk over them. This is especially useful for areas where DE can’t be used. You can even make your own at home:
Build a molasses catcher
Sticky molasses proves to be an effective measure against grasshoppers.
You can buy organic molasses and dilute it with water in a bowl. The scent will draw the pests towards the sticky substances.
Once they sniff out the solution, they’ll jump in and can’t get out. The water keeps the molasses from being too sticky but easily entered by the grasshopper. If the surface tension is too strong, they can escape. So you need to dilute it with water to keep it fluid.
This can be a simple DIY remedy that you can utilize around the home for cheap. You can make as many as you can afford and use bowls, containers, and even cut up milk jugs. Place them in the house and outdoors.
The scent will attract them and they’ll get stuck in it. Use 1 part molasses to 12 parts water. Adjust as necessary to catch grasshoppers without effort.
Chickens are a natural predator of grasshoppers and they’ll eat them up without hesitation. If you’re located in an area where having backyard chickens is legal, consider adopting a pair to your yard.
Other than free eggs and a grasshopper eater that works for free 24/7, there’s only the upkeep of chickens.
For most people, having chickens won’t be practical. But for those who live on some land, consider getting some chickens.
They’ll forage the perimeter of your home for bugs and will eat grasshoppers all day long. Many cities allow chickens with permits or licenses. And don’t forget the free-range organic eggs!
Remove household plants
This may seem obvious, but the grasshoppers stuck in your home are either there because they wandered in and can’t get out, or they’re attracted to houseplants.
Other than that, they’d rather much stay outdoors unless you have some extreme temperature change. You may notice them coming indoors because of cold or hot weather outside also.
Regardless, you can control one variable. And that’s the household plants.
These buggers will eat just about any green foliage and if you provide them with food, they’ll continue to feed. If you have plants around the home, this could be a food source that they’re constantly eating to replenish their energy.
And this is why they’re able to stay in your house. Consider removing or relocating plants to remove their food source.
Out in nature, they’re attracted to tall, weedy grass. This is their natural environment. Not your house.
So if you provide them with access to this grass, you may be able to lure them into it.
There are two ways to do this:
- Get artificial grass and put it in the room where you notice lots of grasshoppers. Kill or eliminate them. The tall fake grass is a lure to bait them to one spot.
- Get tall grass outdoors and leave a way for grasshoppers to exit your home. they’ll be attracted to this grass and may leave your home for it. Again, you’re using it as a lure that gets them out.
Commercial pest killer – What to look for
If you can’t get rid of the grasshoppers using the DIY methods above, you can resort to using industrial or commercial pest killers.
This is the stuff you buy at the store. Look for pesticides that contain permethrin, carbaryl, or is otherwise labeled for grasshoppers.
Both permethrin and carbaryl are effective active ingredients to kill and repel these pests. Carbaryl is an organophosphate for small farmers as it doesn’t impact beneficial species as much as other compounds.
You should ALWAYS get an organic or natural pesticide if you decide to buy one. This will leave fewer nasty chemical residues hanging around your home and yard.
Always read the label on the package. You can also look for pesticides called Nolo, Semaspore, or Ecobran.
These are made for population control and won’t kill them. Rather, it makes them sick and keeps out of your yard and home.
This is best because you prevent killing them, but at the same time, you deter them from destroying your veggies, fruits, and plants.
And you keep them away from inside your house.
How to get rid of grasshoppers in the basement
Just like the other methods, getting rid of them from your basement is no different than anywhere else in the house.
The Only thing you should consider differently is the moisture and humidity of the basement. If it’s humid, diatomaceous earth and other powders may not work as effectively.
You can use a combination of approaches like neem oil spray, sticky traps, garlic spray, boric acid, and removing them by vacuum. If you see them in your basement, there’s a reason for this. You need to find out why and take care of it.
- Are there plants that they’re eating?
- Is there some kind of crack or entry point that they’re using to enter?
- Do you have some kind of attractant in your basement?
Find out what it is. And take care of it. That’s the only way to truly prevent them from jumping around in your basement.
How to stop grasshoppers from eating plants
The best way to prevent these pests from eating up your plants is to either use grasshoppers repellents or plant things that deter them.
You can use many different techniques to stop them from eating your plants.
Anything from neem oil spray, garlic spray, boric acid, diatomaceous earth, sticky traps/stakes, and even just blasting them off with a garden hose.
These are all effective and possible control methods you can use. Plus they’re safe and natural. Find out what your plants will tolerate and do it. All of the methods are covered above.
Grow plants that repel grasshoppers
You can also companion plants with the following list of plants to naturally repel grasshoppers.
Depending on if you want to keep them away from your current plants OR if you want to plant foliage to keep them out of your yard and home, these plants will do the trick.
Remember that the key to keeping these bugs away and out of your home is to keep them out of your yard! There’s no reason why you’re finding grasshoppers in your home for no reason.
They’re finding their way into your home from your yard, garden, or perimeter outdoors. These bugs don’t just come into homes- there’s nothing in it for them.
So if you find them in your home, you need to get rid of them from the outdoors as that’s where they’re coming from!
Thus, planting plants that naturally deter them can be useful.
You can add new plants to your yard and they’ll be doing double work by keeping grasshoppers out of your house!
These plants are excellent at repelling them:
- Jalapeno (or any pepper plant)
- Chinese brake fern
- Sweet clover
Find out what you can plant in your area. Check your hardiness zone here and then research each of those plants to see if you can grow it in your state.
Also, check to see the proper growing season for it. Consider just buying it online or potted if you don’t want to start from seed (as this takes a long time).
How to keep grasshoppers out of your house
There is no single “best way” to keep them out of your home.
You’ll have to use a combination of the methods listed here. Sorry. There’s no easy solution for this.
I suggest starting with the basics. Take care of the hoppers outside your home in your yard.
Start with using some neem oil, DE, garlic, spray, and planting some plants that they hate.
After you’ve taken care of the population in your garden, the number of them you’ll come across inside your home will drop.
If they continue to find their way in, you can also take measures indoors. Set up sticky traps, spray neem oil, sprinkle boric acid around the house, etc.
The most critical element is to STOP them from coming inside your home.
This means finding where they’re coming in from and repairing it. You can caulk or seal up most cracks, replace damaged screens, and repair broken vents and filters.
Consider hiring a professional to inspect your property if you don’t know where to start.
Property maintenance is one of the most effective approaches to stopping all sorts of creepy crawlies from entering your house.
- Grasshoppers – USU Extension – Utah State University
- Grasshopper Control in Gardens and Small Acreages
Did you get rid of the grasshoppers in your home?
By now, you should do everything you need to get started on riding these pests.
Remember, grasshoppers are a necessity to the ecosystem just like most other species outdoors.
Only exterminate what’s necessary and leave the rest. If you only have a grasshopper problem in your home, just get rid of the ones inside your house and prevent future ones from coming in.
Note that if you have a problem outdoors, take measures to reduce their population and control the numbers, don’t completely eliminate them if not necessary.
And if you have questions, post a comment below and ask me. Or if you found this page helpful, let me know also. Consider telling a friend. It’s the most you could do =].
Thanks for reading.
Currently an active researcher in the pest control industry for the past 8 years- with a focus on using natural and organic methods to eliminate pest problems.
I share handy DIY pest techniques I come across here to help out others (and possibly save them from a mental breakdown).
Fight nature with nature.