What natural insect controls can you recommend for potato leafhoppers?

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Q:

I would like to hear about a good control (with a more natural product) for potato leafhopper when a large population has begun life cyles in my garden. Any ideas? I should add I’ve been using insecticidal soap and I am trying to keep concentrations mild to moderate so as to avoid leaf burn.

A:

Thank you for your question. Insecticidal soap can be an effective treatment for potato leafhoppers but can be difficult to implement because the insects must be sprayed directly. Because leafhoppers can move quickly (and usually do when they sense danger), insecticidal soap usually only makes a small dent in their overall population. My suggestion is to use an insect deterrent in conjunction with the insecticidal soap spray. This way the insects that are sprayed directly with the insecticidal soap will die off and others that are missed will be deterred from feeding on the plants. Neem oil, or products that contain azadirachtin, can be used as an effective deterrent against a number of insects, including leafhoppers. Neem oil and products that contain azadirachtin are natural and rarely cause burning or any adverse effect on vegetable plants. That being said, it is always wise to spray a small portion of your garden with any potential treatment and wait 24 hours to be sure no damage results. Thanks again for your question.

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Eric Hopper
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Eric Hopper’s past experiences within the indoor gardening industry include being a hydroponic retail store manager and owner. Currently, he works as a writer, consultant and product tester for various indoor horticulture companies. His inquisitive nature keeps him busy seeking new technologies and methods that could help maximize a garden’s performance. Full Bio