Leafhoppers

Identification and Control of Leaf Hoppers

 

Cicadellidae


 

Leafhoppers are one of the largest families of plant-feeding insects. There are more species of this pest, than all species of birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians combined.

Basic anatomy of a leafhopper

Leafhoppers feed by sucking the sap of vascular plants, and are found almost anywhere such plants occur. Many leafhopper species are important agricultural pests. many have their particular crop niche, some infest many crops.

The most common colors of varying leafhoppers are greens and browns which serves as a natural camouflage, many tropical and subtropical varieties come in a spectrum of lively colors.

Leafhoppers have wings, which do not lie flat when retracted but fold tightly against the body. Leaf-hoppers are small insects, the largest being approximately 13 mm in length.


Comparative size of a leafhopper











Most species are no more a few millimeters long. They have short, thin bristle-like antennae, and a double row of spines running along their hind legs. Not that you could see this without a microscope or magnifier.

Garden Insects of North America: The Ultimate Guide to Backyard Bugs



Controls For Leafhoppers

The key aspect of managing leafhopper infestations is to detect them before it becomes too difficult to deal with. Plant inspection is one detection method. Another method is to use Yellow Sticky TrapsYellow Sticky Traps for leafhopper monitoring and control, placed slightly above crop height.


PyrethrinsPyrethrin Natural Pesticide for Leaf Hopper Control, which are derived from the flower of Chrysanthemums are effective against leafhopers as well as many other garden pests . Pyrethrins are eco-friendly, however they need to be frequently re-applied as they degrade approximately 24 hours after being applied.


Biological Controls

Not all predatory insects will attack all varieties of leafhoppers, as they are not truly a single species, but rather a "Category" The Praying Mantis and Lady Bugs probably attack the widest array.

Ladybug Lures Keeps trapped ladybugs alive in the trap for release in the garden. Pheromone based Lures will attract lady bugs from the surrounding area to your garden.



Methods of Suppression

  • Control weeds to avoid breeding grounds, and wintering space.

  • Follow Crop rotation guidelines

  • For indoor plants and seedlings avoid putting susceptible plants close to windows, vents or doors, Bugs don't knock before they enter, if they did you probably wouldn't hear it anyway.

  • Destroy and discard infected plant material


Suggested References

Garden Web - Leaf Hoppers

American Horticultural Society Pests and Diseases: The Complete Guide to Preventing, Identifying and Treating Plant ProblemsAmerican Horticultural Society Pests and Diseases: The Complete Guide to Preventing, Identifying and Treating Plant Problems Hardcover  February 23, 2000

Insect Guide - Leaf Hoppers







 

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Slugs Plant MaggotsBeetles









Leaf Miners Tomato Horn WormAphids