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Leafhoppers

Characteristics:

  • Eggs: Females lay eggs on plant matter before winter. In spring, the eggs hatch into larvae.
  • Larvae: Larvae resemble adults but are smaller and do not have wings. Larvae have sucking mouthparts which remove chlorophyll from leaves.
  • Adults: Adults may vary depending which leafhopper species is present. In Regina, most leafhoppers are v-shaped, have sucking mouth parts, are about 3 millimetres long, and are green or yellow in colour. They jump or fly using their wings.

Identifying infestations:

  • Stippled or dead areas on leaves: Leafhoppers remove the chlorophyll from leaves, leaving a yellow area (stipple) or brown dead area.
  • Appearance of black sooty mould: As leafhoppers eat, honeydew is produced which attracts black sooty mould.
  • ‘Flying” adult leafhoppers: Leafhoppers will fly or jump away from you when you walk through an infested area.

IPM Toolkit:

  • Preventive tools:
    • Follow a regular watering, fertilizing, and pruning schedule to keep your trees as healthy as possible to resist attack.
    • Plant garden vegetables that are resistant to leafhopper damage.
  • Physical tools:
    • Prune and destroy infested branches.
  • Biological tools:
    • Several beneficial insects eat leafhoppers, including lacewings, ladybird beetles, some rove beetles, damsel bugs, assassin bugs, and ground beetles.
  • Least toxic chemical tools: Not applicable