I wanted to update you all about what we are seeing in terms of sharpshooters in the vineyards. Right now, one of the most common sharpshooters we are seeing is the “broad-headed sharpshooter” (see image below). It Is similar in size to glassy-winged sharpshooter and at a glance can be mistaken for glassy-winged, but the wing coverings are blue and black speckled, whereas glassy-winged sharpshooters have more translucent (“glassy”) wings.
To help with the identification of common sharpshooters that can be of concern in Georgia, I have put together a simple guide. It is not an official publication, but it will hopefully make it easier to identify problematic sharpshooters and leafhoppers in your vineyards. Check it out here:
Sharpshooters in Georgia (pdf)
Now, with that said, all the sharpshooters and leafhoppers on the list can transmit the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa, which causes Pierce’s disease. The glassy-winged sharpshooter is considered one of the most problematic, but if you have had a history of Pierce’s disease in your vineyard, management may be warranted if other hoppers, like the broad-headed sharpshooter, are observed in the vineyard. The smaller hoppers are generally considered less of an issue because they feed on new plant tissue that is likely to be pruned out later in the season. Regardless, a few management options are below. And for additional recommendations please see the grape management guide.