How to recognise it
These sap-feeding, winged insects are 3 to 10mm long and appear like a slimmer version of froghoppers. Adults jump when disturbed, flying briefly before resettling. Symptoms of an infestation include leaf mottling, speckling and/or browning. Discarded outer ’skins’ can also be found on the underside of leaves.
Adults lay eggs in plant tissues. The eggs hatch into nymphs who, like the adults, feed on the plant’s sap. Some species will produce more than one generation in a year. Eggs overwinter in plant tissues unless conditions are warm enough for reproduction to continue throughout the year (eg in glasshouses).
Why it’s a problem
Leaf damage can be serious, affecting the appearance of leaves and causing premature leaf fall. Some species of leafhopper act as vectors for diseases such as bud blast.
Where you are likely to find it
Different species of leafhopper affect different plants. Among the wide range of susceptible plants are primulas, tomatoes, foxgloves, fuchsias, pelargoniums, verbenas, rhododendrons, roses, apples, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, loganberries and potatoes.
How to deter it
Good hygiene, particularly over the winter, will remove plant material (such as leaves) in which eggs are overwintering.
How to get rid of it
Insecticides can be used to reduce or remove infestations.
Is it good for anything?!
Other useful information
Many different species of leafhoppers affect plants, including: