Currently viewing the category: "Aphids, Scale Insects, Leafhoppers, and Tree Hoppers"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Great site!
I have been searching for hours to try to find out what this bug is that has taken over one of my butterfly weed plants. Should I worry about it infesting the rest of my garden? I was reading some of the other posts and this is such a great resource for curious folks like me! Hope you can help me identify this bug.
Thanks, Timlie Reis
Gulf Coast Mississippi

Hi Timlie,
You have Aphids. These pests can easily infest many types of plants. You have some winged sexual adults which mate in the typical manner. They then produce generations of female aphids which do not need a mate, but can give live birth without the help of a male. The aphids then become very plentiful. They damage plants by sucking the juices from new growth. They are uaually very host plant specific but other aphids are more general feeders. You can easily eliminate them or at least contro them with diligent daily hosing. Use a strong spray to wash them away. You can also spray them with soapy water. It clogs their breathing aparatus and causes them to drown.

This is an additional comment relating to the milkweed in Temile’s photo. It was a milkweed plant which is the host plant for a number of butterflies, including monarchs. Your advice about using soapy water to rid it of aphids was correct but would also kill off butterfly eggs, caterpillars & chrysalises. A strong stream of water will also wash off eggs, caterpillars and possibly chrysalises. There is hope, however! The natural predator for the aphids is the lady beetle. My experience is that lady beetles usually come along about 2 weeks after the start of an aphid infestation. If the infestation is not overwhelming I usually leave the aphids for the lady beetles. The lady beetles may also lay eggs and the larva will devour the aphids. But if my plants are overwhelmed by aphids or there are caterpillars feeding which need the leaves right away I control by carefully hand-squishing aphids (while they’re still on the stems & leaves) until the lady beetles show up. Yech! But having monarchs around the yard all year is worth it. You do a fabulous job!
Kathleen Scott

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

on my eggplant
These bugs are freaking me out! They are crawling up my eggplant plants. As you can see, they look like double decker armored ants. They are with an ant in this photo and they seem to live peacefully with the ants except that I don’t know what’s happening with that ant which looks a little like it is in midair and I’m not sure why. The plants have ants on them too. I am scared of these bugs! Should I be? Will they eat the eggplants? I finally have a couple eggplants on the plants and I am looking forward to eating them myself and I don’t want to share with weird looking bugs.
Please advise.
Lisa in Los Angeles

Dear Lisa,
You have immature Keelbacked Treehoppers, Antianthe expansa, which often infest eggplants and other solanaceous plants like tomatoes and peppers. They will not eat your eggplants, but they will suck the juices from the plant stems. Treehoppers are related to aphids and also have a symbiotic relationship with ants. The Treehoppers secrete honeydew from their anuses and the ants love to lap up the sweet treat. The immature Keelbacked Treehoppers are quite spiny and can pinch. The adults are green and winged. When they feed on the plant juices with their sucking mouthparts, they sometimes spread viruses to the plants. They are injurious and should be eliminated from the garden either with soapy water, or our favorite method, squashing.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Can you please help me identify this bug in my lawn. It looks like a flying beetle and I need to know if it is going to cause problems. Please let me know if you cannot see the pictures.

Hi Shaki,
You have a species of Spittle Bug which we identified on Bug Guide as Prosapia bicincta. The nymphs are often found sucking the juices from plants while under the protection of a mass of frothy bubbles exuded from the anus. Another common name is Frog Hopper. They are injurious.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

bugs infesting my Emina fern
Dear Bugman,
I live in southern California and I noticed a bunch of these little bugs
on my emina fern, I was wondering if you could tell me what they are and
if they are harmful to my plants. They have a lot of little legs, the
antennae stick out of their back end, and they’re about the size of the
tilde sign on the keyboard.

Hi Tom,
You have Mealy Bugs which will infest many types of house plants. Check with a local nursery about the best way to get rid of them.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

I can’t tell you what a find you were on the internet. Today, I was photographing insects on milk weed. I found six different insects. These three are not in any of my books. I think it is a leaf hopper but can’t find it in any books or on the internet. They where in Orland Grassland in Orland Park Illinois.Thanks again… you are great!

Hi Suzanne,
It is definitely a Leafhopper. WE thoughth the description of Oncometopia undata fit. It is described, according to Comstock as: “a common species. Its body, head, fore part of the thorax, scutellum, and legs are bright yellow, with circular lines of black on the head, thorax, and scutellum. The fore wings are bluish purple, when fresh, coated with whitish powder. It measures 12 mm. in length. It is said to lay its eggs in grape canes, and to puncture with its beak the stems of the bunches of grapes, cuasing the stems to wither and the bunches to drop off.” We then did a websearch and found a photo on that supported our supposition. Then we found a photo in our Audubon Field Guide that identifies it as Oncometopia nigricans and calls this large leafhopper a Sharpshooter.

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hi I am from mexico and I have faund many insects in my garden that I cant identify so if you can help me I will be thankfull.
Daniel Vasquez

Hi Daniel,
Did you attach photos? They did not arrive. Where in Mexico?

well first i¨am fome mexico city the capital y will send you the fotos now.

Hi again Daniel,
This image is of a species of Aphid, from the family Aphididae. They are pests that infest many types of plants. When numerous, they can be very injurious, especially to young tender shoots. They suck the juices from the plants and are also capable of tranmitting viruses to your plants.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination