Interesting and Simple Way to Catch Grasshoppers


Grasshoppers are a bane for home gardeners in most locations and they are worse in some areas than they are in others. There are many species, but the problem is that they eat vegetation, such as that found in the garden and flowerbeds. They have a voracious appetite, too. The tiny grasshoppers that hatch out from the eggs that are laid in the fall just under the surface of the soil tend to grow rapidly and in species that have wings, the grasshoppers can descend on a garden in the hundreds, literally eating the plants to the ground. When they reach this stage, when they can become migratory and move on after decimating a crop, they are commonly referred to as locusts. Technically, these aren’t locusts, they are grasshoppers, but it makes little difference. They can cause a huge amount of damage in a short amount of time.

The news isn’t entirely bleak. Many kinds of spiders eat the small grasshoppers, more of the little ones are preyed upon by predatory wasps and there are other beneficial insects that will eat baby grasshoppers. Frogs and toads, lizards and snakes also take a fair share of the hoppers. However, one of the biggest predators for grasshoppers is birds. The feathered friends can become fat and healthy on a diet of grasshoppers. This includes domesticated chickens and ducks. 

For this reason, many people would prefer catching the grasshoppers and feeding them to their poultry, rather than using poisons to kill the insects, contaminating the soil and plants in the process. This is a form of high protein food that can really help the birds, if no poison was used. Of course people who have reptile or amphibian pets often like the idea of feeding them to their pets, as well. They tend to be far cheaper than crickets and in the spring and summer, it usually isn’t necessary to raise them.

A lot of fishermen have also found that grasshoppers are really good bait for many kinds of fish, from trout to bass. Again, since you can catch your own, if you are a bait fisherman, you can probably save quite a bit of money on bait unless you collect or raise your own fishing worms. The grasshoppers are there for the taking and they are often quite numerous.

All of this begs the question; how do you catch them? Oh, you can use a butterfly net or even catch them by hand if you have patience and fast reflexes, but there is another way that is amazingly simple, cheap and it works.

How to make a grasshopper trap

Start with an empty plastic pop bottle, juice bottle or water bottle. Cut the top off of it just below where the the bottle widens to its full diameter.

grasshopper trap

Sports drink bottle cut for a grasshopper trap

Rinse the bottle out, then put suitable bait in the bottom of the bottle.

homemade hopper trap

another view of the bottle and cut top

This will be grass, dandelion leaves and blooms or other weeds. Invert the top and put it back into the bottle. That is it; you just made a grasshopper trap. Set it in a location where you know that there are grasshoppers, but not in the direct sunlight as it can get very hot in the bottle. Check the traps every couple of hours.

homemade grasshopper trap

Grasshopper trap put together

How it works

As simple as the trap is, the top just acts as a funnel to allow grasshoppers inside. Once they are in the bottle, they don’t know how to get back out. Grasshoppers are very stupid critters, as one would expect from an insect. They have only two real drives; to eat and to breed. Nothing else is important to them. Getting them out of the trap is also simple since the top slides out of the bottle and the hoppers can be shaken out. You don’t even need to touch them to do this. If your goal is to just kill them, put them into a container of water to which some dish soap has been added. They will drown.

This is a great way to catch the grasshoppers and since it makes use of disposable containers that would otherwise probably just end up in a landfill site somewhere, it is an ecologically friendly way to get more use out of the bottle. It is so easy to make these traps that you can make as many as you want. Each takes only a minute or two to create. Be honest…that was easier than you thought, huh?



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