Katydids are gentle insects that look like grasshoppers. They are generally harmless to humans and pets. They may bite if they feel threatened. Pain from the bite is usually as intense as the one felt from a mosquito bite. The bite is not poisonous, and you do not generally need to get urgent medical help. If you think you might have been bitten by this insect, just wash the affected site with water and soap. If there is pain or swelling, apply an ice pack over it. You may choose to apply a local corticosteroid cream if the area is red or very painful.
Some people consider katydids garden pests because these insects are primarily leaf-eaters. They can eat away the crops, although it is rare to see serious damage to your garden or farm.
Some of the varieties are known to eat other small insects that are detrimental to your plants. This way, they are beneficial to your garden plants.
Where are katydids found?
Katydids are a large group of insects that are cousins to grasshopper and cricket family. Katydids are also called bush crickets or long-horned grasshoppers in some regions.
Katydids are found all over the world except for Antarctica, with nearly 30% of the world’s katydid population residing in the Amazon rainforest. There are more than 6,000 different species of katydids, and North America is sheltering 255 of them.
Katydids are green in color (sometimes with brown markings), and their color easily blends with the green color of the leaves. This acts as their camouflage.
How to get rid of katydids?
Generally, katydids do not harm you. However, if you are concerned about them harming your garden plants or if their appearance bothers you, here are few ways to tackle them:
- Insect traps: Light traps are useful for attracting katydids (as for other insects) so that they can be trapped and released somewhere else. These may not work if you have a huge infestation in your garden.
- Spinosad: Spinosad, a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved insecticide for killing lice, can be used to kill katydids. It affects their nervous system and causes them to get paralyzed and eventually die. It is made from certain soil bacteria and is toxic only to insects. It may be available as pellets, granules, sprays, or dusts. It is approved for use over organic crops as well.
- Cut or remove the tall grass: Katydids like to stay in places where there is tall grass. Mow them regularly so that katydids do not find shelter in them. Always get rid of extra compost that the critters love to lay eggs in.
- Insect-repelling plants: Cultivate plants such as chrysanthemum, lavender, cilantro, and garlic in your garden. These are insect-repelling plants that prevent katydids from venturing into your garden.
- Homemade spray: You can make a homemade natural insect-repellant such as garlic spray and tabasco sauce. Because garlic is harmless, you can even eat the edible plants on which it has been sprayed.
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