Leafhoppers are one of the most prevalent groups of plant-eating insects in the world. There is a variety of different types of leafhoppers and their shape and color might vary depending on the species. Some of the most common species include grape leafhoppers, potato leafhoppers, and rose leafhoppers.
The light-colored speckling on plant leaves that results from leafhopper damage is due to the insects sucking sap and plant fluids from within the plant tissue.
If left unchecked, this slow feeding eventually weakens the plant and causes the leaves to become brown.
While older plants are typically not substantially harmed by leafhopper damage, young plants or new growth might be stunted and/or malformed by leafhopper feeding. Certain species of leafhoppers pose a threat to the spread of disease, and the honeydew produced by some of them can help fungi spread their infections.
Use general predators to monitor and detect infestations early. When using beneficial insects for natural organic pest control it is a good practice to be preventative. Release predators like ladybugs or green lacewings early and regularly throughout the growing seasons before you have an infestation.
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What works best for Leafhoppers?...
As adult leafhoppers are challenging to control due to their movement, control measures should be done at the first sight of eggs/nymphs or damage.
Generalist like Ladybugs, Green Lacewings, Orius (minute pirate bugs), and Assassin Bugs feed on leafhoppers.
Other alternatives to beneficial insects that can be used to control leafhoppers include:
To stop leafhoppers from feeding, apply Surround WP (kaolin clay) and Diatomaceous Earth to the surfaces of the plants. These products will both offer a physical barrier as well as insecticidal qualities when leafhoppers come in contact with them.
If quick management is required, apply insecticides like pyrethrins or azadirachtin to reduce leafhopper populations.