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#276589 Reply

E. Vinje
Keymaster

Hi Sue –

Immature and adult stages of leafhoppers can damage home vegetable gardens. They feed by puncturing the undersides of leaves and sucking out plant juices. Their toxic saliva causes spotting (white specks), yellowing, leaf curling, stunting and distortion of plants. Here’s how to control them without using toxic chemical sprays.

1.) Remove garden trash and other debris shortly after harvest to reduce over-wintering sites.

2.) Floating row covers can be used as a physical barrier to keep leafhoppers from damaging plants.

3.) Commercially available beneficial insects, such as ladybugs, lacewing and minute pirate bugs, are all voracious predators of both the egg and young larval stage.

4.) Apply diatomaceous earth to plants and/or spot treat with insecticidal soap to keep pest populations under control. Thorough coverage of both upper and lower infested leaves is necessary for effective control.

5.) BotaniGard ES is a highly effective biological insecticide containing Beauveria bassiana, an entomopathogenic fungus that attacks a long-list of troublesome crop pests – even resistant strains! Weekly applications can prevent insect population explosions and provide protection equal to or better than conventional chemical pesticides.

6.) If pest levels become intolerable, spot treat with potent, fast-acting organic insecticides as a last resort.

Hop it helps!