BUG MYSTERY SOLVED: Rhododendron leafhopper

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 16:00 -- Editor
Articles
Education

Recently we were contacted through our website by a member of the public to identify a mysterious bug:

"There's a bug that lives on the top leaves of my rhododendron in the summer here in White Rock.
It is about 1/2" long , 1/8" thick, green colour with red stripes front to back, it can fly, it sprays clear sticky liquid from its rear end, and faces the middle of the plant,  would be happy to send a picture of one , if that helps..."

We requested the offered photos, and after a quick Google search of images matching the photo, and by using the key words: 'green with red striped bug in BC'  we found the answer as: Rhododendron leafhopper a  'sucking' insect partial to Rhododendrons and many other herbaceous plants. Note Red Banded or Candy Striped leafhoppers are similar but only G. fennahi is found on the Pacific Coast.

The adults and nymphs may attack  plants by feeding on the foliage, but they do not cause serious harm.  (There is some thought that leafhopper may contribute to spread of bud blast as female leafhoppers make slits in next year's flower buds. )  Avoid over fertilizing with nitrogen which promotes lush green growth that in turn attracts leafhoppers and other pests such as aphids.  This Red Banded Leafhopper secretes a  'honeydew' substance, which contains a lot of sugar, often causing ants to care for them as they do aphids.  Sunset Western Garden Problem Solver suggests control may be had by spraying the affected leaves with a strong blast of water from a hose.  Natural predators include birds, beneficial Green Lacewing larvae, and parasitoid wasps.

OSU Oregon State University Extention

 

Adult leafhopper
NYMPH Leafhopper
Adult leafhoppers
 
_
Author: Heather Nielsen, MG, Vancouver Chapter

More to read

FROST HEAVES: Cause and Prevention
Articles | December 08, 2017
in Vancouver
Garden Layers - Mycorrhizas, Mushrooms and Plants
News | October 17, 2017
in Vancouver Island (VIMGA)
A QUICK PRIMER ON MULCH Gardener's Best Friend
Articles | September 22, 2017
in MGABC
PEST ALERT: Japanese Beetle found in False Creek
News | August 18, 2017
in MGABC

Community Events

December 16, 2017
Education | Victoria
Festive Table Centerpiece Workshop
December 16, 2017
Garden Tours | Vancouver Island (VIMGA)
Milner Christmas Magic
December 17, 2017
Garden Tours | Vancouver Island (VIMGA)
Milner Christmas Magic
December 18, 2017
Garden Tours | Vancouver Island (VIMGA)
Milner Christmas Magic
December 18, 2017
Garden Club Meeting | Victoria
Metchosin Garden Club
December 19, 2017
Garden Tours | Vancouver Island (VIMGA)
Milner Christmas Magic
December 20, 2017
Garden Tours | Vancouver Island (VIMGA)
Milner Christmas Magic
January 09, 2018
Garden Club Meeting | Victoria
Western Garden Club
January 15, 2018
Garden Club Meeting | Victoria
Metchosin Garden Club
January 22, 2018
Garden Club Meeting | Victoria
Victoria Orchid Society