Every year around this time of summer, grasshoppers seem to take over the neighborhood. Some years are worse than others. A few years ago I recall my garden being absolutely destroyed by the pesky critters. This year seems about average so far, although when I was putzing around the yard today I noticed hundreds of little tiny ones, about half the size of a dime, scattering everywhere when I walked through the lawn. Not a good sign. All those little bitty suckers are going to be big freakin' grasshoppers pretty soon.

GreenAndVibrant.com says grasshoppers are one of the oldest insects on the planet and there are around 11,000 different varieties! Some can jump up to 3 feet - about 20X its body length - which is borderline superhero powers. That would be like a human jumping 120 feet.  Apparently they have no problem jumping about 4 feet into the air and into my pool. I've scooped out about a dozen of them every day the past week.

Credit: Michael Foth ~ Townsquare Media

So how can you get rid of the pesky insects? There are some natural remedies that may or may not be totally effective. When they were eating everything in my garden a few years ago I tried using a cayenne pepper spray. SF Gate offers details on the recipe. My results honestly weren't fantastic and the mixture really clogged up my sprayer pretty badly. This blog I found on the American Gun Association (?) touts some other natural options, including: vinegar, garlic oil spray and chickens. If you are trying to rid your lawn of grasshoppers and aren't concerned with potentially toxic chemicals, one of your best bets would be to call a lawn care or pest control company, who can apply a variety of sprays to help alleviate the problem.

You could always try eating them too. Grasshoppers have been a source of protein in many countries. Terminix (the pest control company) says that grasshoppers have been a popular snack in Thailand for centuries. Years ago I tried a novelty pack of fried grasshoppers, and they honestly weren't horrible. Vice had an article about cooking crickets and grasshoppers and there are a number of insect cookbooks on the market, like this list of the Top 10 Insect Cookbooks. Maybe I'll net a few pounds of grasshoppers and see how they turn out in my new air fryer.