Both adults and nymphs of the leafhopper feed on the underside of leaves by puncturing them and draining the plant's juices. The toxicity of their saliva causes white spotting, yellowing, and distorting of the leaves and plants. Their saliva can also transmit and cause viral diseases in the plant.
The most common plants affected by the Leafhopper are beans, beets, corn, lettuce, potatoes, and rose bushes.
Leafhoppers are flyers that are ¼ inches long with a slender body that are brown, green, or yellow and have bright markings. Their young, known as nymphs, are wingless and lighter in color. Nymphs and their parents are both capable of running sideways and are excellent jumpers.
In the late Spring, adult females deposit their eggs within the veins of large leaves and stems. The eggs hatch in about a week and young nymphs go through a 3-week process known as molting before they reach the adult stage. During the molting, nymphs shed white cast skins that are often found on the underside of damaged leaves.
The damage caused by a leafhopper can often be controlled naturally without the use of harmful chemicals.
One of the easiest ways to reduce leafhopper infestation is by removing any garden trash and other debris immediately after harvesting to prevent the pests from hibernating for the winter.
Using floating row covers over your garden can help keep leafhoppers from destroying vulnerable plants.
And finally, introducing beneficial insects, such as ladybugs, lacewing, and pirate bugs can help reduce infestations of the pest since they are predators of both the egg and young larvae.