Adult leafhopper (David Cappaert, Bugwood.org)

    immature leafhopper

    Potato leafhopper nymph (Frank Peairs, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org)

    leafhopper damage

    Western grape leafhopper damage (Eugene E. Nelson, Bugwood.org)

    Pest Description

    • adults: ~ 1/8 – 5/8 inch; wings held tentlike over the back; one to two rows of spines on hind legs
    • many are whitish to light green; coloration highly variable including reds, browns and patterns
    • nymphs: smaller than adults, typically lime green in color; wings absent but wing buds present

    Host Plants, Diet & Damage

    • apple, birch, cherry, cottonwood, dogwood, elm, grape, hawthorn, honeylocust, linden, oak, poplar, red maple, sumac, Virginia creeper, willow and other ornamentals
    • feed on sap from leaf cells
    • white to yellow stippling/flecking on tops of leaves
    • hopper burn: yellowing, browning, stunting, leaf curling
    • some transmit plant diseases

    Biology, Life Cycle & Damaging Life Stage

    • overwinter as eggs inserted into or on plant tissue or as adults
    • eggs hatch in spring and nymphs begin feeding
    • overlapping life stages present during summer
    • two or more generations per year
    • nymphs and adults are the damaging stages

    IPM Recommendations

    • Manage trees and shrubs to improve or maintain overall health.
    • Monitor the undersides of leaves for leafhopper adults and nymphs.
    • Insecticide applications are not typically needed for leafhoppers and may have varying efficacy.
    • Apply insecticidal oils or soaps to undersides of leaves to control nymphs.
    • Apply an insecticide (azadirachtin; carbamate; pyrethroid; systemic neonicitinoid) when nymphs or adults are present.

    For more information, see our Leafhoppers in the Home Garden fact sheet.