Leaf hoppers are plant eating insects that can damage plants and transmit disease from plant to plant.
Identify the problem
Leaf hoppers are either slim or delta shaped, often green or brown insects, but they can be a variety of colours. They eat plants and cause mottling of leaves and can spread disease. Leafhoppers can occur in large numbers during late summer and autumn.
Young leaf hoppers are known as fluffy bums (see image). These small pale insects jump when disturbed or touched.
Damage usually occurs in summer & autumn and is mostly confined to mature leaves. You can usually tell you have leaf hoppers by pale yellowing of the foliage. Leaves develop typical areas of yellow speckling where leafhoppers have been sucking up plant sap. The damage caused is mostly cosmetic.
In autumn leaf hopper females lay eggs in the stems of host plants. Eggs hatch in spring. Young nymphs feed on the underside of leaves, developing through 5 growth stages before moulting as winged adult males and females. Mated females usually lay summer eggs in the veins of host plant leaves, where they are protected from some non-systemic pesticide sprays.
See also the Passion vine hopper.
To get rid of leaf hoppers follow these steps:
- Insecticides such as Kiwicare PLANThealth Spectrum are effective at controlling leaf hoppers on roses and ornamentals. Both kill rapidly without any leaf burn or marking. We recommend the use of PLANThealth Spectrum as preventative treatment once the infestation is under control.
- Kiwicare also offer some great natural and BioGro® certified alternatives to deal with leaf hoppers in your garden. Organic Super Spraying Oil sprayed directly on leaf hoppers and their fluffy bum juveniles will control them. Do not spray in hot sunny conditions as burning can occur.
- For use on fruits or vegetables, we recommend Organic Insect Control with pyrethrum. Make sure to regularly spray all parts of the affected plants for most effective treatment.
Control Ants and the Sap Sucking Insects they 'Farm' in Trees, Shrubs and Ornamentals
- Apply PLANThealth Spectrum on the the soil around the roots of affected plants. This kills and prevents ants moving up the plants.
Did You Know
- Leafhoppers are the common name for members of the family - Cicadellidae.