How to Control Leafhoppers on Table Grape Vines

Overview

Wine and table grape vine varieties are especially susceptible to more severe and damaging infestations of leafhoppers. Four main species of leafhoppers commonly attack grape vines: the potato leafhopper (Empoasca fabae), the grape leafhopper (Erythroneura comes), three-banded leafhopper (Er. tricincta) and Virginia creeper leafhopper (Er. ziczac). The adult leafhoppers are winged, 1/8-inch long and usually wedge-shaped or oblong. These insects are often found on the undersides of grape vine leaves and jump or fly away when disturbed.

Step 1

Identify a leafhopper infestation by looking for tiny punctures or "stippling" in the grape leaves that may look like a white blotch. You may also see a sticky liquid called honeydew, which the leafhoppers naturally secrete, covering the leaves. About 10 days post-bloom, shake the grape vines to see the adult leafhoppers fly around, and then in late July, look for the nymphs feeding on the undersides of the leaves.

Step 2

Keep the area around your table grape vines clean and free of weeds, leaves or other debris. Hoe away weeds and rake away all debris from around your table grape vines before spring to remove protection and feeding areas for the leafhoppers.

Step 3

Spray your table grape vines with an appropriate insecticide, such as imidacloprid (Provado or Admire), acetamiprid (Assail), carbaryl (Sevin) or dinotefuran (Venom). In a clean garden sprayer, mix 1 tsp. of the powder-form or liquid-concentrate insecticide with 1 gallon of water.

Step 4

Spray the entire table grape vine with the insecticide and thoroughly cover the undersides of the leaves with the spray. Apply the insecticide about seven to 10 days after bloom, when the unfertilized berries fall from the clusters.

Step 5

Apply the insecticide again about seven to 10 days later. Apply subsequent treatments spaced about one week apart until harvest if you still see leafhoppers on your table grape vines.

Tips and Warnings

  • Always follow the instructions on the insecticide label exactly. Wear gloves and eye protection when handling and spraying insecticides.

Things You'll Need

  • Hoe
  • Garden rake
  • Insecticide
  • Garden sprayer

References

  • Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center: Leafhoppers
  • Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Cente: Effectiveness of Pesticides for Control of Grape Insects and Mites
  • Purdue University: 2010 Midwest Small Fruit and Grape Spray Guide

Who Can Help

  • Michigan State University Extension: Grape Leafhopper
Keywords: control leafhoppers, leafhopper insects, grape leafhopper

About this Author

Sarah Terry brings 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters, and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.