Plant hoppers are sap suckers, just like aphids. They can destroy your crops. Here’s how to get rid of plant hoppers using simple but effective techniques
If you’re an avid gardener, you’re probably well aware of the pesky little creatures called plant hoppers.
These critters devour delicate foliage and can even cause plant damage if not dealt with properly.
Fortunately, there are a number of ways to get rid of plant hoppers.
In this article, I will discuss some effective methods for getting rid of plant hoppers.
I will also provide some tips for preventing plant hopper infestations, so you can keep your plants healthy and thriving.
What Are Planthoppers?
Planthoppers are a large group of tiny insects that measure about 1–12 millimeters in length.
They typically have short blunt bodies covered in colored wings, normally green or brown.
These bugs feed on plant sap. They obtain this by inserting their straw-like mouthparts into the stems and leaves.
Are They Dangerous?
Planthoppers are small insects that feed on plants.
While they may look harmful, they generally don’t pose a danger to humans.
However, large numbers of planthoppers are destructive if they infest crops or landscaping plants.
Do They Bite/Sting?
Planthoppers may look intimidating, but they actually don’t bite or sting humans.
These insects are usually harmless unless you happen to be a plant.
Some planthoppers do have spines on their hind legs which can pierce the skin if handled carelessly.
It’s best to leave them alone. Otherwise, there’s no need to worry about these little critters causing any physical harm.
Are Planthoppers Poisonous?
Although most planthoppers are not toxic to humans, some species can be dangerous.
Certain species have venom in their saliva, which could lead to swelling, itching, and other unpleasant reactions.
Furthermore, the droppings of planthoppers can sometimes contaminate public water sources after heavy rains.
Ingesting contaminated water could cause diarrhea and other symptoms associated with food poisoning.
Do Planthoppers Damage Crops?
Planthoppers are small insects responsible for causing significant damage to crop yields.
These sap-sucking pests feed on plant juices, causing leaf curl, yellowing of leaves, wilting stems, and stunted growth.
Further damage may be caused by planthopper’s ability to spread viruses and toxins. This can kill off a crop before any harvest occurs.
Besides physical damage, these bugs hinder growth by emitting a sweet odor known as honeydew.
This serves as food for sooty mold – an unsightly black fungus that blocks photosynthesis.
Integrated pest management methods like using sticky traps, pruning infected plants, and using natural predators can help keep planthopper in control.
How To Get Rid of Planthoppers?
Planthoppers are pesky garden pests that can wreak havoc on your plants if left unchecked. The good news is, getting rid of them doesn’t have to be a huge headache.
Identify the species of planthopper.
To identify the species, start by recognizing their distinct physical features like size, shape, wing markings, coloration, and antennae length.
A magnifying glass may be necessary to see certain details.
Once you have a good understanding of all these factors, search online for images that match your planthopper’s profile.
This should help point out the species’ name and provide more information on controlling it.
These days, there are many apps that can search an image and return a relevant species and other details.
Use physical barriers
Setting up sticky traps or netting around the plants these pests are targeting is an effective measure.
Another way is creating a fence with fine mesh around your garden. This will prevent adults from getting in, as well as eggs that could hatch later.
To further limit the spread, you should clean off affected plants and remove organic debris.
This limits their places of refuge and reduces the amount of food available for them.
Remove and destroy infested plants
One of the most effective approaches is to remove and destroy any infested plants.
This means locating any affected plant material and removing it from the garden or flower bed.
Dispose of it in an appropriate manner, such as by burning or burying it.
Doing this can help prevent the spread of the insects from infested plants to other nearby plants, as well as diminish their overall population.
If done regularly, this approach should help you keep planthopper numbers under control.
Use insecticidal soap or neem oil
A simple, quick, and organic way to rid your plants of planthoppers is by using insecticidal soap or neem oil.
Insecticidal soap works by smothering the insects, while neem oil acts as an antifeedant.
To use either product, simply mix it with water in the recommended ratio and spray it onto both the tops and undersides of foliage.
Use chemical insecticides
Using chemical insecticides to get rid of planthoppers can be an effective way to solve the problem in the short term.
It is important to remember these products can be toxic, and therefore avoid spraying them near crop plants that are ingested by humans or animals.
Planthopper responds quickly to appropriately applied chemical insecticides. Most plants will show visible signs of relief after just a couple of days.
A balanced approach that combines cultural and physical control measures with judicious applications of pesticides is often your best bet for long-term success.
Attract natural predators
If you’re looking for a natural way to get rid of pesky planthoppers, why not attract predators like ladybugs and spiders to your garden?
Ladybugs are helpful in controlling pests, while spiders hunt the more mobile nymphs.
Planting certain flowers such as alyssum, marigolds, daisies, and yarrow can be used to attract these beneficial insects.
They also provide a much-needed splash of color.
Keeping your garden free from insecticides is also key, as this could limit the natural predators’ ability to seek out food sources.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you get rid of planthoppers naturally?
To effectively get rid of planthoppers, use physical barriers such as sticky traps or netting, create a fence with fine mesh, and clean off affected plants to reduce food sources.
Remove and destroy infected plants and use insecticidal soap or neem oil.
Attract beneficial insects like ladybugs and spiders by planting flowers that they like and keeping the garden free from insecticides.
Are planthoppers harmful to plants?
Planthoppers are sap-sucking insects that cause significant damage to crop yields through leaf curl, yellowing of leaves, wilting stems, and stunted growth.
They also spread viruses and toxins as well as emit honeydew which can lead to sooty mold blocking photosynthesis.
Integrated pest management methods, such as using sticky traps and natural predators, can be used to keep planthopper populations in control.
Is neem oil good for plant hoppers?
An organic option for treating plant hoppers is to use insecticidal soap or neem oil.
Insecticidal soap and neem oil can be used to control these insects.
They work by smothering the insects or acting as an antifeedant, respectively.
Both products should be mixed with water in the specified ratio before being sprayed onto foliage on both sides.
What eats plant hoppers?
For natural pest control, attracting predators like ladybugs and spiders may be helpful.
Planting certain flowers, such as alyssum, marigolds, daisies, and yarrow, can aid in this effort while adding some color to your garden.
It is important to avoid insecticides, as they may disrupt the natural food source of these beneficial insects.
To get rid of planthoppers, the most straightforward approach is to remove them manually.
You can then use insecticidal soap or horticultural oil to reduce their numbers.
Additionally, promote natural predators like ladybugs and lacewings in your garden as they will feed on planthoppers.
Finally, adjust your watering regimen since planthoppers thrive in moist environments.
If implemented correctly, these steps should help keep those pesky planthoppers at bay!