The distintive chirp of a grasshopper was a sound few farmers wanted to hear.

How do you kill bugs without commercial insecticides on fields or gardens? “We used to pick potato bugs off the plants and put them in a can of gasoline,” said Albert Friesen.

Grasshoppers thrived during a season with little rainfall. Without large-scale commercial insecticides, farmers mixed up homemade formulas.





“It was banana oil and I don’t know what they mixed with it, but that’d kind of draw the grasshoppers to the mash. It was a bran, a wheat bran is what it was made out of. Then you’d run up along the roadsides or whatever, in the pastures and so on and spread that around there. And it was quite effective.” — Dean Buller Quicktime Logo (Quicktime required)



“We would make what they called poison bran … and they would scatter it all around the edge of the field where the grasshoppers come in…They would eat several rows of corn…but we didn’t have them eat the whole field.” — Harvey Pickrel Quicktime Logo (Quicktime required)

Written by Claudia Reinhardt.

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