Leafhopper is a common name applied to any species from the family Cicadellidae. Leafhoppers are found all over the world, and it is the second largest family in the Hemiptera; there are at least 20,000 described species. Leafhoppers have piercing sucking mouthparts, they feed on plant sap and can transmit plant viruses. Species that are significant agricultural pests include the potato leafhopper, beet leafhopper, white apple leafhopper, two-spotted leafhopper, and glassy-winged sharpshooter.
These insects belong to the order Homoptera. The Adults all have somewhat wedge-shaped body structure. Treehoppers often have an elaborate growth above their heads disguising it as a thorn or other plant part. Treehopper females can cause damage to trees and shrubs when they cut small slits into the bark to lay eggs.
One of the more known and common leafhoppers is the red banded leafhopper (Graphocephala cocccinea). It is easily recognized with two distinct bright red stripes running down its back. It can be found on rhododendrons, azaleas, mountain laurel, rose and many other plants. Different species of leafhopper can cause various types of damage. Yellow spotting on leafs can be caused by their piercing mouthparts. They can also cause stunting and curling of emerging foliage on many plants and trees. Spittlebug nymphs exude a froth like substance and use it to cover themselves completely. Spittlebugs are not thought to be too damaging. Adults of these three various insects all tend to jump away when disturbed.
Treat with insecticidal soap when hoppers are first noticed.