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Home > General > Do Grasshoppers Make Great Pets? Types, Facts, Pros & Cons

Do Grasshoppers Make Great Pets? Types, Facts, Pros & Cons

grasshopper close up

As a kid, you probably spent hours outside checking out all the critters that crawled on the ground. When you saw a little grasshopper spring up, you might have run out of fear or tried to catch them. But have you ever considered keeping one as a pet?

Of course, this would take more care than simply sticking them in a jar with holes poked in the lid. So, what exactly does it take to keep one of these insects—and should you do it at all? Grasshoppers can be rewarding pets for certain people. They are easy to keep, feed, and care for, so the commitment aspect isn’t a huge burden. Read on as we lay out the specifics.


What Kinds of Grasshoppers Are There?

Grasshoppers are also known as locusts, and they are among the most common insects in the world. There are several types of grasshoppers across the globe. Throughout the warm summer months, you can likely find them in your own backyard.

But not all grasshoppers are the same. There are over 660 different species in the United States alone. Here is a list of the most commonly seen types of grasshoppers:

  • Katydid
  • Two-Striped Grasshopper
  • Red-Legged Grasshopper
  • Carolina Locust
  • Melanaplinae
  • Differential Grasshopper
  • American Bird Grasshopper
  • Easter Lubber Grasshopper
  • Pygmy Grasshopper
  • Pseudo Chorthippus Parallelus
  • Migratory Grasshopper
  • Plains Lubber Grasshopper
  • Band-Winged Grasshopper
  • Common Green Grasshopper
  • Schistocerca
  • Painted Grasshopper
  • Silent Slant-Faced Grasshopper
grasshopper on person's hand
Image By: Pixabay

Basic Grasshopper Information

Grasshoppers, part of the Caelifera suborder, are some of the most ancient insects in the world. Their powerful legs are a defense mechanism, enabling them to deter predators in nature.

The grasshopper’s long, springy legs also help them to make music with their bellies. In addition, they are capable of jumping long distances and even flying.

It’s typical to see them all over the place during warm months, but it’s not unusual for people to have them at home. Here are some of the primary aspects of grasshopper lifestyles.


Some grasshoppers are strict herbivores, while other species are omnivores. They reap most nutrients from polyphagous, which is plant material.

In captivity, you can feed your grasshopper a diet of plant material, but their favorites are canary grass and fresh reed. You can also offer vegetables and corn leaves for optimal nutrition.


Most grasshoppers live an average of 1 year. Once they reach sexual maturity, they reproduce quite quickly, and they complete their life cycles soon after.

grasshopper and flower
Image By: Pixabay

Environmental Needs

Grasshoppers might look small and harmless, but they actually have mighty jaws. Your grasshoppers can easily chew through fabric. So, they require a glass terrarium with a metal wire lid to stay contained.

Male vs. Female

You can sex grasshoppers by taking a look at their abdomen. A female’s abdomen is tapered and tube-like. The male has a rounded, upturned abdomen instead. When they are fully grown, females tend to be noticeably larger than their male counterparts.


Grasshoppers breed quickly and plentifully in the autumn months. After males fertilize the females during breeding, the females lay their egg deposits for next summer; eggs hatch after 25 to 35 days.

Females can lay up to 100 eggs per fertile period. So, these insects can multiply with speed.

a grasshopper
Image By: Pixabay

Keeping Grasshoppers as Pets: Pros and Cons

Grasshoppers can make great pets for the right owners. Check out the benefits and drawbacks of housing one or more of these insects.

  • Easy to keep
  • Inexpensive to feed
  • Potentially profitable breeding
  • Might multiply quickly


Keeping Grasshoppers for Feed

Since grasshoppers breed so easily, many people keep them for feeders. They can be gut-loaded insects, meaning they make terrific food sources for pets like lizards and other reptiles.

If you want to have grasshoppers to offer your pets, make sure that you feed them a plentiful, nutrient-rich diet so your pet can reap the rewards.

Can You Handle Grasshoppers?

You can handle grasshoppers but try not to stress them out. If you hold them too often or mishandle them, they can get very worked up when you have them out.

Also, injury is possible if they jump into a potential hazard. Therefore, when possible, you should keep your grasshoppers in their habitat.

grasshopper in person's hand
Image Credit: Pixabay


Top 8 Fun Grasshopper Facts

1. Grasshoppers Are Older Than Dinosaurs

Grasshoppers indeed predate dinosaurs—they’re thought to be around 250 million years old. These insects are literally ancient!

2. Grasshoppers Can Spit

As a defense mechanism, grasshoppers can spit impressive distances to get predators to leave them alone. The fluid contains partially digested plants and enzymes nicknamed, “tobacco juice.”

3. Grasshoppers Can Jump Incredibly High

As their name implies, grasshoppers have quite an extensive jumping ability. Some of these insects can jump as high as 30 inches!

4. Grasshoppers Are Locusts

Yes, grasshoppers and locusts are the same. However, even though all locusts are grasshoppers, not all grasshoppers are locusts.

migratory locust
Image Credit: Pixabay

5. A Grasshopper Is Like a Mini Violin

Grasshoppers can play high-pitched songs with their bodies. When you hear the insects singing in the wind, which one is a grasshopper? Most grasshoppers make a chirping sound by rubbing their legs on their wings.

6. Grasshoppers Know How to Fly

Grasshoppers are winged creatures that know how to use them! They might not be able to fly long distances, but they can cover some ground. Some grasshoppers can fly up to 920 feet high.

7. Grasshoppers Are Voracious Eaters

Grasshoppers can devastate crops and wipe out entire fields. But don’t worry about your garden, as this only happens in some regions of the world.

8. In Certain Cultures, Grasshoppers Are a Solid Protein Source

Grasshoppers carry an average of 72% protein in their bodies, which is incredible! Many countries rely on grasshoppers as a food source for this reason.


In Conclusion

So, does a grasshopper sound like a pet you could have around the house?  They are generally inexpensive, and you can replenish your supply with ease. If you have pets that require grasshoppers for sustenance, keeping them can be a great alternative to buying.

No matter your reason, grasshoppers are easily manageable pets for most lifestyles.

Featured Image Credit : Pixabay

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