Cucurbit Family Plant Problems - Beet Leafhopper

Beet leafhopper damage to zucchini.


Spotted, pale green, winged insects up to 1/8 inch long hop and fly away quickly when a plant is touched. The leaves are stippled and may be curled, puckered, and brittle.

ANALYSIS: Beet leafhoppers (Circulifer tenellus)

Leafhopper is a western insect that is found only as far east as Missouri and Illinois. It attacks all members of the cucurbit family and frequently infects them with the virus that causes curly top. Plants infected with curly top are stunted, brittle, and sometimes die. The beet leafhopper feeds from early May through June. It sucks the sap and virus from infected leaves, and then injects the virus into healthy plants at its next feeding stop.


At the first sign of damage, treat infested plants with an insecticide containing carbaryl (SEVIN), diazinon, insecticidal soap, or pyrethrins. Be sure to cover the undersides of the leaves. Repeat the treatment at intervals of 7 to 10 days if the plants become reinfested.

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Text and images adopted from theOrtho Problem Solver
Last Updated: Fri Sep 06 10:30:00PM CST 1996

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