How to recognise it
A fine, white mottling appears on the top surfaces of leaves, with evidence of the leafhopper adults and white nymphs on the underside. Small swollen areas may appear as eggs are laid in the leaf tissue around June/July. Adults are 3-10mm long, yellow/white, winged insects with powerful back legs, which help them jump from plant to plant. They are most prolific in the summer months.
In dry summers severe infestations can cause premature leaf drop.
Nymphs hatch from May and feed on sap from leaves. The first generation matures by July, lays eggs in leaf tissues and the eggs hatch in August/September. This second generation then lays its eggs in stems to overwinter and they hatch the following May.
Why it’s a problem
The leaves will look unsightly and weaken as a result of the leafhoppers feeding on the sap, potentially causing early leaf fall.
Leafhoppers can also act as vectors for diseases.
Unless caught early, infestations are difficult to control as the leafhoppers can jump/fly between plants easily.
Where you are likely to find it
On any roses, but particularly climbing roses on walls. This species of leafhopper may also appear on apple trees.
Closely related species may also infest beeches, hornbeams, hawthorns, oaks, strawberries and other garden plants.
How to deter it
Good general hygiene, particularly over the autumn and winter, will remove possible egg overwintering sites.
How to get rid of it
Prune plants back well in autumn to spring (timing it as is appropriate for the plant in question) to remove any overwintering eggs.
Spray plants with a systemic or contact insecticide in May/June to deal with the first generation of nymphs. If there is still a problem you can spray again in August/September to remove any surviving, second generation nymphs.
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