I've seen thousands of these bugs this year. I live in the Eastern plains of Colorado near Denver. The bugs are approx 3/16" in length. They are covering my black locust seedlings, all over my corn and Jerusalem artichokes. My black locust seedlings are really spindly and have leaves that are curled. The bugs are either causing this or the trees have some sort of disease that is attracting these bugs. I'm sure they are common bugs, but I've never seen as many as we have this year. I've searched all over the internet and haven't figured out what they are. Anyone know what they are or have recommendations on how to safely control them? I appreciate your help, thanks!
Hi Chris! No, the body and wings don't seem hard. I can see the resemblance to a blister beetle though. They crawl all over me when I am in the garden and don't bite. They are very small, probably 1/8" to 3/16". They also fly short distances. Thanks!
They look like a type of sharpshooter bug. I have seen a ton of them in my garden this year, especially on the legumes (annuals and trees), and all over the sunflowers that volunteered this year. From my understanding, there are several different types of sharpshooters.
Ha! Thanks for your help! I am not sure how I am going to deal with them yet. I might try diatomaceous earth first. I was thinking about neem oil, but just read that it can harm beneficials as well. Any suggestions?
Yeah, DE might be your best, and least side-effective (is that a word?) treatment for the short term... but it will also damage bees and ants, so best not to use if you have active pollination going on.
Since it's not a scale insect, but soft bodied like an aphid, I wonder if an aphid treatment might have some effect? I use a rosemary and peppermint oil in a mild soapspray. For really bad clusters I'll add some ethanol... but that can sometime damage foliage with open pores- like a nasturtium.
"A healthy population of beneficial insects is the single most effective way to control sharpshooters. One of the most effective is a small wasp that feeds on the pest’s egg masses. Praying mantis, assassin bugs and lacewings are also extremely beneficial at managing glassy winged sharpshooters.
"Avoid chemicals as long as possible because pesticides can decimate populations of beneficial insects, which means sharpshooters and other pests are free to multiply like crazy. Additionally, pesticides haven’t been proven to be very effective when it comes to controlling spread of bacteria, and in time, pests can build up immunity and control becomes much more difficult."
Side-effective should be a word if it is not! Or would it be side-effectivey? I think I will try your oil concoction on the sharpshooters. I'm not going to get too crazy with the pest control as my orchard is still relatively young. I hope things will balance out a little better when the orchard matures. Thank you for all of that information, I appreciate it!