Garden Fleahopper

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Adult- There are three forms of garden fleahopper adults: slender, long-winged females; oval-bodied, short-winged females; and slender, long-winged males. All forms are black and have long legs and antennae. They tend to jump actively but are also capable of flying. The body may be 1.6 to 2.0 mm long.

Egg- Each white, somewhat curved egg is rounded at one end, truncate at the other, about 7 mm long and 1 to 2 mm wide. Usually inserted into the plant, the egg is seldom if ever seen.

Nymph- Nymphs are pale yellow to dark green and range from 0.7 to 2 mm in length with five instars. Later instars have a distinct black spot on each side of the first thoracic segment. All stages have a jumping habit.

Fig. 60. Garden Fleahopper, Halticus bractatus (Say), Miridae, HEMIPTERA
Zoom Figure 60: full view, Garden Fleahopper. A, and B, Females. C, Male.


Distribution- Though infestations are sporadic in occurrence, garden fleahoppers can be found throughout the eastern United States as well as in some western areas.

Host Plants- A wide range of garden, ornamental, and forage plants as well as many weeds and grasses are subject to infestation by this fleahopper.

Damage- Garden fleahoppers cause pale spots to develop on leaves by sucking sap from the foliage. Heavily infested foliage dies and drops from the plant. Such defoliation interferes with growth and development of the crop.

Life History- Garden fleahoppers overwinter as eggs laid from August through September. Nymphs emerge in early spring and feed on undersides of leaves. Nymphs feed and develop from 11 to 35 days before maturing into adults. The duration depends on temperature.

Adults live 1 to 3 months. Each female lays approximately 105 eggs. Eggs are inserted into punctures made by the mouthparts in stems or leaves. About 12 to 20 days later eggs hatch and the life cycle is repeated. Five generations are completed each year.


For specific chemical controls, see the current Cooperative Extension publications on ornamental plant pests or contact your local county Extension agent.

University of Florida/IFAS Reference to Pest Control Guides