Dirt Colored Grasshopper
Locusts are often associated with plagues and total crop devastation; however the Carolina Locust is a different species and primarily feeds on weeds. They are one of the largest grasshoppers in the United States and can be as large as 2 ½” long with a wingspan of up to 4” wide. They live in most of our country and do inhabit Tennessee.
Many insects that we discuss are vivid with beautiful colors that make them stand out, however this is not the case with the Carolina Locust. Because they choose to live in areas of woods and live on the ground that is bare dirt, they use camouflage to blend in with their surroundings. Therefore this large grasshopper is bland tan or dirt colored in appearance. They do have a flash of color that can be seen, only when in flight; with a yellow border around their hind wings. Other than that small yellow stripe, they are just a plain dirt colored grasshopper. So, this plain color might not be pretty to look at, but it helps them to survive by blending in with their dirt habitat. Their other line of defense is by taking flight and quickly darting to a new hiding place from predators. Other grasshoppers are not so effective at flight, but with a large wingspan, the Carolina Locust can fly, hover and maneuver quite well while airborne. In a flight episode, they are able to fly as far as twenty to thirty feet. Even with their very good flying ability, they mostly inhabit the ground. After sheltering for the night; a Carolina Locust will come out into the sunshine to warm up for a few hours. They like warmer temperatures, so you will only see them during peak sunlight hours. Once warm they will go about their daily activity of walking and flying around their immediate area eating and searching for a mate. They are not a crop pest, although they have been known to damage certain corn, beans, potatoes and tobacco fields by eating the leaves.
The male will fly around and click his wings in order to attract a female. He will also find a nice patch of bare dirt to just sit and rub his hind legs together to attract the females. Once the Carolina Locust has found a mate, the female will lay up to 150 eggs in the dirt in summer. Typically these eggs will overwinter and hatch the next spring. As they hatch, the look like small locusts and molt several times in order to grow to adult size. By midsummer there is a whole other generation to begin their breeding again.
Even though the Carolina Locust is not a Tennessee Pest Control issue, they can be capable of causing considerable damage to grass and leaves around your property. You shouldn’t be too concerned about it, if you happen to see this bland colored grasshopper. However if you have other destructive, biting or stinging pests, please call Certified Pest Control Nashville. Our locally owned and operated company is happy to have one of our family visit your home to diagnose a treatment plan for your pest issue. Year round protection and preventative pest control is the best way to make sure that you stay pest free all year. Call Certified Pest Control today for a free estimate.