Grasshoppers as their name suggests are strictly herbivore. They do not like to bite humans, but as they are wild, occasional bites may occur. In this article, we’ll discuss what happens if a grasshopper bites you? So, if you’re looking for an answer, you’ve come to the right place.
When a grasshopper bites you, there’s no need to worry, firstly, because they are really small insects and their bites most likely won’t break your skin, secondly, most grasshoppers aren’t poisonous so even if they do break skin, there is no need for your to worry. Most common grasshopper bites leave you with some redness and swelling.
Now that we’ve given you a summarised answer let’s talk a bit more in detail about it.
Do Grasshopper Bite Humans?
Grasshoppers are in fact herbivores, so they have no interest in biting a human being but on the other hand, they are wild animals, and so they can and will bite if they see no other way for security.
Now that we’ve established that grasshoppers can bite a human, it is highly unlikely for a grasshopper to bite a human, or display any other carnivorous activity. Grasshoppers tend to use their agility to escape harmful situations, that’s why when they face danger they just hop away, but in some circumstances when they do not see any other way they may bite you.
What To Do If A Grasshopper Bites You?
Well now you might wonder what to do if a grasshopper bites you, well you can follow normal first aid procedures as follows:
- Wash the bite with soap and water.
- If there’s any swelling you can use an ice pack to reduce the swelling.
- If the bite is painful, you can use an over-the-counter medcine.
- If the bite is itchy, apply any anti itch lotion.
The bite should be fixed up in a couple of days and you should be good to go.
Grasshopper Defense Mechanisms That May Harm You.
The most common defense mechanism of a grasshopper is their agility, when they are posed with danger they just tend to run away, that’s why most grasshoppers won’t bite you.
Secondly, Grasshoppers adapt themselves to the surroundings and to camouflage themselves properly may change their color according to their environment, for example, most common grasshoppers are green in color and perfectly camouflage with leaves, grass, etc. Stick grasshoppers on the other hand are brown like wood. Some grasshoppers, on the other hand, are strictly aposematic, they display bright colors and different patterns, so they can intimidate their predators and they are also toxic enough to dissuade their predators.
Apart from hopping around and camouflaging themselves, grasshoppers also have another defense mechanism, which is rather disgusting. Grasshoppers, mostly when held, try to hop around but when they are unable to do so, they spit, this spit is famously known as tobacco spit because of the way it looks, but it’s basically defensive regurgitation, which means the grasshoppers vomit on you. It consists of their digestive enzymes and undigested food. It’s not harmful but it might stain your skin for a couple of days.
Another defense mechanism that might hurt you, is probably their spiky legs, which they might be able to dig in you, it is not dangerous but may cause minor cuts and some irritation.
Can Grasshoppers Kill You?
Well, to answer this question we have to look at some factors, common grasshoppers cannot kill you period, but there are some poisonous species that might be able to kill you. Let’s talk about this a little more.
Firstly, grasshoppers grow to only about 2 inches, which is pretty small meaning they also have small teeth. Because they have small teeth most grasshoppers won’t even be able to break human skin, so their venom cannot be injected in your blood stream.
Secondly, most grasshoppers are not even poisonous, meaning even if they do break your skin they will probably leave some redness and maybe some swelling. On the other hand, some grasshoppers are poisonous, known as Aposematic Grasshoppers. These grasshoppers, however, can easily be identified because they advertise themselves as dangerous or poisonous, by having bright colors like red on their body.
Aposematic Grasshoppers are poisonous but still are they poisonous enough to kill you? No, they are not, aposematic grasshoppers may hurt you badly but their poison isn’t enough to kill a human, they may be able to kill small animals or birds but not humans.
In short, Grasshopper bites and even poisonous grasshoppers bites can not kill a human being, because their poison is not enough.
On the other hand, if you eat a certain species, namely Dictyophorus spumans, displaying aposematic colors such as red, they might cause heart failure. These types of grasshoppers are found in South Africa, and when they sense danger they can produce toxic foam from their thoracic glands. Although, their poison is used to treat some diseases, eating them can result in heart failure.
So just avoid dangerous looking grasshoppers and you should be good.
Common grasshoppers are not dangerous, you can eat them and they can bite you and you will be safe. There are however aposematic grasshoppers, which are quite toxic, even though their bites won’t kill you, eating them may cause a heart failure. Most grasshoppers avoid biting, but under some circumstances they may bite. Other slightly harmful grasshopper defense mechanisms include their spit, which might stain your skin for a couple of days and their spiky legs, which might cause minor cuts and skin irritation.