Agriculture: Turfgrass Pest Management Guidelines


  • Leafhoppers: Deltacephalus sonorus, Draeculacephala minerva
  • Description of the Pest

    Adults are 0.12 to 0.25 inch long, wedge-shaped, active insects that jump and fly short distances when disturbed. Colors vary by species and are often mottled or speckled with whitish green, yellow, and brownish gray. Adults insert eggs into turfgrass leaves. Nymphs lack wings; their color varies with species. Disturbed nymphs have a characteristic habit of moving sideways or backwards. Generation time varies from 12 to 30 days, depending on species and temperature.

    Susceptible Species

    All grasses can be affected by leafhopper feeding.


    Although leafhopper sightings are not uncommon on golf courses and lawns, severe injury usually occurs only with large leafhopper populations. Both nymphs and adults suck sap from the leaves, resulting in yellowing or bleaching. Affected turfgrass lose vigor and may die as a result of extended presence of high populations.


    Generally treatment for leafhoppers is not needed. Treat only if populations are high enough that damage is intolerable.

    Common name Amount per 1000 sq ft** Ag Use
    NonAg Use
    (Example trade name) (hours) (hours)
    Not all registered pesticides are listed. The following are ranked with the pesticides having the greatest IPM value listed first—the most effective and least harmful to natural enemies, honey bees, and the environment are at the top of the table. When choosing a pesticide, consider information relating to air and water quality, resistance management, and the pesticide's properties and application timing. Always read the label of the product being used.
      (Orthene Turf, Tree, and Ornamental Spray) 0.4–0.9 oz 24 Until dry
      COMMENTS: For use on sod farms and golf courses only. Nontarget effects likely on other soil-dwelling organisms. Odorous. Highly toxic to bees; do not spray directly or allow to drift onto blooming crops or weeds where bees are foraging.
      (Sevin SL) Label rates 12 Until dry
      COMMENTS: Nontarget effects likely on other soil-dwelling organisms. Highly toxic to bees; do not spray directly or allow to drift onto blooming crops or weeds where bees are foraging.
    ** Apply in 25 gal water/1000 sq ft
    * Permit required from county agricultural commissioner for purchase or use.
    1 Rotate chemicals with a different mode-of-action group number, and do not use products with the same mode-of-action group number more than twice per season to help prevent the development of resistance. For example, the organophosphates have a group number of 1B; chemicals with a 1B group number should be alternated with chemicals that have a group number other than 1B. Mode-of-action group numbers are assigned by IRAC (Insecticide Resistance Action Committee).
    Restricted entry interval (REI) is the number of hours (unless otherwise noted) from treatment until the treated area can be safely entered without protective clothing. Agricultural use applies to sod farms and commercial seed production.
    Text Updated: 09/09
    Treatment Table Updated: 12/16