Leafhoppers and tomato viruses

daylilyfanatic4(Zone 6 SE NY)May 25, 2009

hi, I've been invaded by an army of leafhopper nymphs. they ae about a cm long and bright green. (I think they are potato leaf hoppers) I know that leaf hoppers vector two maijor tomato viruses aster yellows and curly top virus.

So far the leaf hoppers have been mainly tageting my sweet 100 tomato (only tomato planted out) and my magnus coneflower.

Besides the damage that the leafhoppers do themselves (mutated leaves holes and sap sucking)my main concearn is my plnts being infected by a virus .

since infection only takes one bug I need to keep the bugs off my plants for the duration of the attack

I would like to know What I should do about the leafhoppers to save my coneflower from asteryellows and my tomato from aster yellows and curly top virus.

I would also like to if at all possible deal with the leafhoppers organicly.

I don't think spraying or hand picking is going to be realistic at all since although It may provide enough control to keep damage to a minimum it won't stop all the bugs. maybe something like mousquito netting would be effective if my plants are not already effected?

The other thing I'd like to know is if there is anything I can do to prevent this virus if a vectoring leafhooper has already landed on one of my plants. Neither plant shows any symptoms of either virus yet but doesn't it take awhile for symptoms to develop ater the plant is infected?

Thank's so much for all of your help!

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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

There are many many different leafhoppers in many different genera and species with many different targets they can infect if they're ones that can transmit disease, but only the beet Leafhopper transmits Curly Top Virus and the disease is found almost exclusively in our arid SW.

So I don't think you have to worry about Curly Top virus in our area.

I didn't Google aster yellows to see which leafhopper is responsible for that disease.

Below I've linked to a Google Images page of Beet Leafhoppers.


Here is a link that might be useful: Beet Leafhopper

    Bookmark   May 25, 2009 at 9:25PM
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daylilyfanatic4(Zone 6 SE NY)

Hi, Thanks carolyn for your help. six spotted leaf hoppers cause the aster yellows and I'm pretty sure I have potato leaf hoppers. They have caused a lot of damage to my coneflower to the point that the plant may die even though I have been making daily rounds with a bucket of water and drowning as may of them as I can.

the only reason my Sweet 100 tomato has only a little damge is becuse I netted it owever the plant will out grow the net in a few days and I also have 7 more tomatoes that need to be planted and only one net.

I know I should use an insecticide however given that it is important to me that is organic I havn't found anything that will control leafhoppers residualy. in other words neem oil and rubbing alcohol work well on contact but the nasty bugs are so fast they fly away before they die. I need something that will kill them when they land o the plant but I havn't found anything organic or sythetic that will do that.

So does anyone have a suggestion? I would like to be able to grow my tomatoes and beans this summer and I can't net them for more then another week or so so what do I do? will alcohol or neem oil sprayed near and on effected plants work?

thanks for bearing with me.


    Bookmark   May 26, 2009 at 9:00PM
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