This summer our garden had an infestation of Passionvine Hoppers, otherwise known as “Fluffy Bums”. There have been large amounts of them on most plants and trees throughout the garden, and spraying has not eradicated them. What is the best spray to use and is there one to destroy the eggs during winter?
Passionvine hoppers, in their juvenile nymph state, are wingless and commonly known as 'fluffy bums' due to their fluffy tails. They usually appear in abundance in home gardens during exceptionally hot, dry summers. They are attracted to not only the vegetable garden but to numerous shrubs as well. Control is not easy, because of their large numbers and their seeming resistance to many insecticides.
To reduce the population in your garden next summer, be vigilant over winter in terms of garden hygiene. This includes the removal of leaves, dead branches, dead plants, and any organic matter where the eggs of the hoppers could survive the cold winter months. As spring arrives ensure your plants, especially vegetables, are growing vigorously and healthily as this can provide some resistance to infestation by the hoppers.
Control the numbers of Passionvine hoppers by regularly spraying where they are visible, with your garden hose set on a fine mist with reasonable pressure. This disorientates the hoppers, and while not removing them long-term, by continuing this mode of attack every day, for a number of days, eventually their numbers are reduced significantly! Ensure you spray on the underside of the leaves, as this is where eggs can be often found. You can also spray with a good quality horticultural oil.
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