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