The leafhopper population exploded in Valley Springs this spring, June 2017. Many people were calling in, often referring to it as a ‘plague’, as the numbers were so great. Nate Spring, our service technician, reported that he was commonly seeing the leafhoppers near cottonwood trees, and that many of the houses inundated with the leafhoppers had cottonwood trees. The population died down after a couple of weeks, although Nate reported that they could still be found at the base of the cottonwoods for a few more weeks.
The species of leafhopper was identified by Dr. Alessandra Rung of CDFA, as Euscelidius variegatus, sometimes called Euscelis variegatus, which is a European exotic. It can transmit a variety of plant pathogens, so it probably feeds on a wide variety of plant types. I want to thank Dr. Lynn Kimsey for getting this identification process done.
Some internet references to Euscelidius variegatus:
We received a call from an older gentleman who wanted help with some beetles on his sofa. He said they didn’t bite, but when he sat on the sofa, they would come over and “cuddle up”. He keeps his coffee cup on an adjacent table, and it crushes the little beetles, leaving lots of blood stains. He did not realize that he had a bedbug infestation. Notice how thick the fecal matter is, going down the sofa’s edge. Nate had no trouble collecting specimens.
This is an example of a person who has no reaction to a bed bug bite. According to How Bed Bug Bite Reactions Differ, “the most common response to a bed bug bite appears to be no skin reaction at all”. That appears to be the case here.
Photos by Nate Spring, 1 June 2017. Click to enlarge.