A leafhopper infestation can destroy your garden. For the treatment and prevention of leafhopper, this article is all you need to read! – Gro Indoor
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How to Quickly Get Rid of Leafhoppers on Plants?

by 09 Apr 2023

How to Quickly Get Rid of Leafhoppers on Plants?

Leafhoppers are tiny insects that are among the worst pests of plants. Despite being tiny, they are extremely dangerous, and your first line of action should be getting rid of them in your garden. Their appetite is insatiable but luckily, getting rid of them is not as tricky as other pests. Before we tell you how you can get rid of them, let's briefly learn about these insects.

What are Leafhoppers?

Leafhoppers can be very harmful to plants in both their growing and adult stages. The number of leafhopper species is greater than that of reptiles, amphibians, birds, and mammals combined! This huge number poses a big challenge for plants as well as growers. Their method of damaging plants is simple; they begin by puncturing the bottom of the leaves and proceeding to suck the juice out of them. It doesn't end here ' their saliva is toxic and can leave plants yellow and stunt their growth.

In terms of size, they aren't big. Growing no more than a quarter of an inch, leafhoppers are found in three different colors: green, yellow, and brown. They are wingless in their growing stage and grow wings as they become adults. They are exceptionally good at walking sideways and jumping.

Their natural habitat is warmer climates, and their breeding season generally starts around spring when the temperature starts rising. They also appear during the spring season. It is essential for you to immediately take steps to eradicate them as soon as you spot them in your grow room.

How to Detect a Leafhopper Infestation

The biggest problem that leafhoppers pose is that they harm plants as nymphs as well as adults. Their primary diets are sap from the plant's leaves, leaving the leaves stippled or looking whitish in areas. Damage caused by them looks a lot like that caused by spider mites, and this is why you will need to hone your insect-identifying skills.

These little insects can cause damage beyond what we have already discussed. They can carry different bacteria from one plant to another, causing problems like plant scorch. Leafhoppers can also be the culprits behind honeydew. This sticky excrement can cause multiple other issues such as mold and even attract other insects like ants.

There are other signs that you might notice that will point towards a leafhopper infestation. These include leaf curling, yellowing leaves, stunting, plant distortion, and spotting.

How to Prevent Leafhopper Damage?

While there are ways to prevent leafhopper damage indoors, you are practically welcoming them to a feast if you are growing outdoors.

Get Rid of Overwintering Sites

You will generally find leafhoppers overwintering in debris and garden waste. Make sure you do not leave any of these things behind. Removing any possible nesting sites for leafhoppers would mean that they won't become an issue for two years in a row.

Ensure Good Watering Hygiene

Water your plants evenly and keep them healthy. A healthy plant is much more resilient and withstands leafhopper damage. The proper way of watering is to water the base rather than just washing the leaves.

Getting Rid Leafhoppers

When growing outdoors, it can be immensely challenging to get rid of a leafhopper infestation. However, we have some highly reliable ways to help you get rid of this problem.

Put Infected Plants Away

We know it's difficult, but getting rid of affected plants should be your first line of action. It is not only because of the presence of leafhoppers but also due to the bacteria they carry.

You should be careful while disposing of these plants to avoid spreading mold spores and bacteria on the plants. Do not forget to disinfect the growing supplies and pots that might contact any infected plants.

Use Floating Row Covers

These covers are an excellent defense against leafhoppers; they become physical barriers between these pests and your plants. Floating row covers are ideal for garden crops such as beans and potatoes but not as effective for large plants and trees.

These covers should be used before flowering. Do not forget to take them off once they have blossomed so that pollinators can access them. They do not prevent your plant from using light, water, and accessing the nutrients necessary for growth but it prevents pests from attacking your plants.

Sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth

One of the most effective defenses that you can have against leafhoppers is diatomaceous earth a compound that is filled with fossilized organisms. This compound is safe to use around both animals and humans and has many useful pollinators. Against soft-bodied insects, it is a complete powerhouse.

When leafhoppers try to pass through a diatomaceous earth barrier, their exoskeleton gets punctured, leaving them desiccated and eventually leading to their death.

Use Neem Oil and Insecticidal Soaps

Young leafhoppers, generally in the nymph stage, are more vulnerable to neem oil and insecticidal soaps. Given these insects are rapidly moving, it is very difficult to get rid of them using insecticidal soaps alone. Moreover, these soaps do not just affect leafhoppers but can also prove to be harmful to other insects in your garden. Should you decide to use them, it is best to talk to a professional first.

Use Beneficial Insects to your Advantage

Ladybugs and mini pirate bugs feed on leafhoppers and act as your strike force against these insects' attacks. They usually eat leafhoppers in their eggs and larval stages and help control the leafhopper population once introduced to your garden.

To attract these insects, all you have to do is introduce plants to your garden that these insects love. For instance, if you are looking to attract ladybugs, you might want to introduce herbs like fennel.

Try Sticky Traps

Sticky traps or double-sided tape can also be great for fighting against leafhoppers and other pests. If you spot a leafhopper infestation, simply shake the plants hard, dislodging the leafhoppers and leaving many of them stuck on the sticky paper. You can dispose of them later.

If you keep the sticky paper in your garden, you can identify a pest infestation during its early stages.

Insecticides/ Pesticides that Works Best for Leafhoppers

If the infestation situation has become more than serious, then using an insecticide might become your best bet to solve this problem. Now that you have decided to use them be sure to select one that is effective.

OMRI-listed pesticides should be your priority as they are approved for use on consumable plants. Other insecticides leave harmful residues in your plants, but this is not generally the case with OMRI-listed insecticides. They are also safe for the overall environment and do not harm people either.

Pyrethrin is an ingredient that makes insecticides effective against leafhoppers. So, if you are looking for an insecticide, make sure it contains pyrethrin. We recommend the following products to our customers:

Fox Farm Force of Nature Insect Repellent Concentrate

PyGanic Gardening (OMRI Listed)

Safer Brand 3 in 1 Garden Spray Concentrate (OMRI Listed)


The tips and tricks mentioned above can help you get rid of a leafhopper infestation completely. Alongside these steps, what's necessary is that you stay on alert at all times and take special care if you find the slightest clue that these little machines of plant destruction might be breeding in and around your garden. Educating yourself about leafhopper behavior will equip you with what you need to prevent a leafhopper infestation.

For more pests and diseases details, read on: common grow room pests and diseases to learn more and develop expertise as a grower! Further, we at GroIndoor.com have every tools you need to get rid of pests and diseases.

Sep 7th 2022
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