Integrated Pest Management
Leafhoppers on Ornamentals
- Many deciduous trees and shrubs, but rose and crabapple are commonly hosts in Utah
Leafhoppers are commonly found in landscapes throughout Utah. There are many species, including the rose leafhopper and the white apple leafhopper. They feed by sucking plant sap through piercing-sucking mouthparts. Adults are pale-yellow to olive green, and are about ¼-inch long. They may be confused for whiteflies due to their coloration and quick flight. Nymphs are similar in size, but without wings, and only occur on the undersides of leaves.
Most species overwinter in the egg stage in the bark of the host plant or among the fallen host plant leaves. Eggs hatch in the spring and 5 nymphal stages are passed before the adult stage is reached. The potato leafhopper overwinters as adults. Depending on the species, there are commonly 2 generations per year, with the second generation emerging about early to mid-August.
- White stippled areas on leaves, usually along leaf veins
- Tiny spots of dark excrement on the undersides of leaves
- Premature leaf drop
Control of leafhoppers depends upon monitoring their presence and development. If a treatment is necessary, it should be applied when nymphs are present. Sprays applied after adults appear are less likely to be effective. Monitor for nymphs by inspecting the undersides of leaves starting in mid-May.
Numerous formulations of the following options are labeled for leafhopper control on various ornamental plants:
Residential and commercial options include acephate, acetamipirid, bifenthrin, cyfluthrin, deltamethrin, lambda-cyhalothrin, permethrin and many others.
Organic options include azadirachtin, neem oil, insecticidal soap, and pyrethrin.