top of page

Vineyard Leafhoppers

Leafhopper Identification
Management Strategies
Local Leafhopper Research
2022 Leafhopper Counts
LH damage.png

There are three species of leafhoppers (Erythroneura) in Napa County vineyards; Western grape, Virginia creeper, and Variegated leafhopper. Adults and nymphs damage vines by feeding in the leaf mesophyll, giving leaves a white speckled appearance.

VCLH damage.jpg

Leafhopper Identification

Western Grape Leafhopper

The Western grape (E. elegantulais) leafhopper is native to California. The adults are a creamy-white color with orange markings and two distinct black dots on their head. The nymphs are whitish yellow with six yellow spots on their back. 

WGLH N1.jpg
WGLH N2.jpg





Viginia Creeper Leafhopper

The Virginia creeper (E. ziczac) leafhopper is invasive to California. The adult is identified by brownish-yellow zigzag markings. First instar nymphs are pale-colored and difficult to distinguish from WGLH; 2nd-5th instar nymphs have four distinctive red spots on the thorax.



VCLH N.jpg


VCLH N2.jpg



Variegated Leafhopper

The variegated leafhopper (E. variabilis) is also an invasive species in California. Adults and nymphs are darker in color than the other vineyard leafhopper species. Adults are rust colored and the nymphs are yellowish orange with dark edges around their body. 



VLH N1.jpg


VLH N2.png


Leafhoppers in Yellow Sticky Traps


See “Quick Guide to North Coast Vineyard Leafhoppers” to learn more!

Management Strategies


Biological Control

Parasitism by Anagrus spp. can be helpful in controlling populations of the Western grape leafhopper. Parasitism of the other species is low. These egg parasites have not adapted to Virginia creeper leafhopper as a host and the variegated leafhopper lays its eggs too deep in the leaf tissue for them to be reached. 

Leaf Removal

Removing basal leaves when 1st generation nymphs start emerging can reduce adult leafhopper populations. This practice is most effective when done as soon as the first instars of the 1st generation are detected on leaves. (Lowery 2021)


Chemical controls used for WGLH can be effective against VCLH, but the timing of sprays must be adjusted to target the first brood of VCLH. VCLH is well controlled by one, properly timed application of a neonicotinoid insecticide or an insect growth regulator (IGR). Our studies indicate that in organic vineyards oil and pyrethrin are the most effective treatments. Oil applications are most effective against the younger nymphal stages (1st to 3rd instars) of the first brood, but two applications may be needed. Pyrethrin is most effective during peak emergence of first brood nymphs; this typically occurs when the later stage nymphs (4th instar) begin to appear. For both products, it is important to have good coverage. Since IGRs, oils and pyrethrin target nymphs, early season sprays are more effective because the first VCLH brood is relatively well synchronized (i.e. eggs, nymphs, and adults).

To learn more about these strategies see Lowery 2021 UC IPM Leafhopper, and  "Recent Advances in Management of Virginia Creeper Leafhopper" for more information.


Local Leafhopper Research

From May to August of 2021, the UCCE-Napa Vit team monitored leafhopper populations at a site in St. Helena. Yellow panel traps were used to monitor adults. And 10 leaves were collected and inspected for nymphs. Data were recorded weekly. 

Screenshot 2022-01-24 103100.png
Screenshot 2022-01-24 102549.png
Screenshot 2022-01-24 102641.png

In spring 2021, we detected many leafhoppers in our traps, evidence of a large overwintering population.

In mid-May (bloom), we detected the first Virginia creeper nymphs of 2021.

Oil sprays targeted 1st and 2nd instar nymphs:

On May 12, 2021, the first treatment of 2% oil was applied (1.5 gpa oil in 75 gpa of water). On May 27 and June 9, 2021, the second and third treatments of 2% oil were applied  (2 gpa in 100 gpa of water). One final oil treatment (1.25% or 1.25 gpa in 100 gpa of water) was made on June 22, 2021, although few nymphs were present at that time and application rate was lower.

The summer generation of adults was very small.  During Aug & Sep, nymphs of the 2nd generation were rarely detected.

Click here to view 2022 adult and nymph leafhopper counts.

bottom of page