Organic Way to Rid Grass/Garden of Leafhoppers

Asked July 18, 2014, 5:11 PM EDT

We have a huge infestation of leafhoppers in our grass, flowerbeds, cabbage, beans, lettuce, etc. What is an effective way to kill them? How long do they live? At a garden store I purchased an insect killing soap. It looks like it's killing the leafhoppers on the cabbage, but it would be quite expensive to buy enough of the product for the whole garden. The garden store recommended diatomaceous earth and then apply it to the yard using a drop fertilizer spreader. How would I apply it to my garden/flowering plants? I'm wondering what stage of the leafhopper this will kill and how many applications it would take before they were more under control. I am looking for an organic method if possible. We live next to a grass seed field. Thank you for your help.

Benton County Oregon ipm

1 Response

The leafhopper normally does insignificant damage to its host plant. Therefore, the most organic way to handle the leafhopper is to let it live. If you are getting unacceptable damage to your vegetation it may be from some other cause. To give a proper response our start point is to get a positive identification of the insect you are concerned about. Please collect several alive and bring them to the Benton County Extension Office; 4077 SW Research Way, Corvallis. It would be good if you would also bring some damaged plant material. The leafhopper feed on the same plant material in all stages of their life cycle. Here is an excellent link on Leafhoppers, done by Colorado State University http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/insect/05608.html. I am also including a link to a paper on diatomaceous earth: http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/degen.html#wildlife. We look forward to working with you on this problem.