I wanted to share some photos of an insect we are seeing more in our row crops and even some vegetables. It is called the Garden Flea Hopper and looks more like a tiny cricket. On the image below, it is seen on this peanut leaf. Notice the ‘stippling’ on the leaves. This is feeding from GFH.
Should we spray for it? UGA Extension Entomologist Dr. Mark Abney is going to treat some in Tifton and take a look at efficacy. Below is from Dr. Abney:
“The garden flea hopper has been extremely abundant this summer, our landscaping team at Chop Doc has informed us that each time they see it more, and populations continue to grow. Producers and scouts are starting to notice the injury (stippling of the leaves). Some are getting anxious to spray and others are just curious about what to expect. I have never seen garden flea hopper injury get to the point that I thought an insecticide application was needed. That does not mean it can’t happen. We will be spraying some garden flea hoppers and posting the efficacy results on the Peanut Entomology Blog.”
Immatures feed on the underside of the leaves which leave what’s called a ‘stippling’ symptom on the top of the leaf. This symptom is similar to spider mites as well. In the peanuts I looked at with yellow vines, there was lots of this injury. Other growers are seeing it too. Another identification of this insect is the bottom of the leaves. If you flip the leaves over, you see little black spots. Everywhere the flea hopper lands, it leaves behind….residue.
Here are some images of the same injury in cotton and southern pea from this month.