Leaf-footed bugs are approximately 1 inch long, some with a white zigzag pattern on their wings. They have long legs similar to a cricket with an oval shaped body. They are recognizable by their hind legs which look leaf-like. They have piercing mouthparts which probe into plants to suck their juices. This can cause discoloration and damage to the plants.
Hand-picking and squishing or placing them in a soapy water bucket is a great way to get rid of these pests.
Companion planting can help deter leaf-footed bugs. Sunflowers are especially good at attracting these pests away from other plants.
Another good prevention is to remove excess weeds and grass around the garden areas as this can help to attract them.
Placing insect netting (floating row covers) over your garden is the best way to prevent leaf-footed bugs from attacking your plants.
Diatomaceous earth can also be laid down around your garden to help get rid of them.
Applying neem oil can also be effective for the nymph stage of leaf-footed bugs. Make sure not to apply the neem oil when the temperature is above 90, or else you could suffocate your plant!
Plants to Watch:
Leaf-footed bugs are big fans especially of fruit. Be sure to keep a close eye out!
- Melons & Squash
- Fruit trees
- Beans (Bush & Pole)
- Southern Peas
- Tomatoes (Bush & Vine)
- Fruit Bushes