How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Sharpshooters

Sharpshooters are sucking insects with large eyes in the leafhopper family Cicadellidae. Sharpshooters are wedge-shaped and generally are varying shades of green, yellow, or brown and often mottled. Many sharpshooters are larger than other leafhoppers. The blue-green sharpshooter may be up to 0.25 inch long.

Most kinds of sharpshooters feed on only one or several closely related plant species, but a few, like the blue-green sharpshooter and the larger glassy-winged sharpshooter, feed on a variety of plants.

Identification of species | Life cycle

Damage

Leaves appear bleached or stippled with spots. Adults and nymphs and their pale cast skins are usually found on the underside of leaves. Some sharpshooters can vector plant diseases such as Pierce's disease.

Solutions

Ignore these insects as they rarely if ever cause serious harm to woody plants. Insecticidal soap or narrow-range oil can be applied to infested foliage to reduce high populations of nymphs; thorough coverage of leaf undersides is important. It is very difficult to control adults effectively and no control is recommended.

Blue-green sharpshooter
Adult blue-green sharpshooter

Adult willow sharpshooter
Adult willow sharpshooter


Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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