It is one of the main vectors of the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa, a plant pathogen that causes a variety of plant diseases, including phony peach disease and Pierce’s disease of grapes. Though usually not a serious pest in the area of its native distribution, the glassy-winged sharpshooter was introduced into southern California, where it has become a serious threat to viticulture due to its ability to vector Pierce’s disease.
To encourage a natural predator to lay eggs in the glassy-winged sharpshooter’s eggs, plant Fava Beans, Sweet Alyssum,Dill and Buckwheat.
The female glassy-winged sharpshooter lays her eggs in groups of three to 28 eggs just under the epidermis layer of several well-chosen leaves. Preferred plants for oviposition may include holly, sunflower and citrus. Strict nutrient requirements for young nymphs are believed to be important factors in the choice of plants for oviposition. As the female lays her eggs, she covers them with a white material scraped from deposits on her fore wings. This white powder is termed brochosomes, consisting of intricately structured hydrophobic particles. Brochosomes are produced in specialized secretory segments of the malphigian tubules, and are excreted by leafhoppers to cover their bodies and egg masses. However, brochosomes are not produced in the same way at all stages of the life cycle. Females, like males and nymphs of H. vitripennis and other species of the tribe Proconiini, produce spherical brochosomes until they have mated, at which time they begin to make rod-shaped brochosomes for the covering of egg masses (Rakitov). Spherical brochosomes are only used for covering the integument after ecdysis. Development is hemimetabolous. Populations reach their peak around the summer months, and begin to decline late August. As winter approaches, adults migrate into forest areas and undergo incomplete hibernation in wait of spring. Mating occurs in the spring and summer.
The most important biological control agents are small wasps that are egg parasites in the Gonatocerus genus that attack glassy-winged sharpshooter egg masses starting in spring. In some areas these parasites have been providing quite effective control. The rate of parasitism gradually increases over the season. During the first period of egg laying in spring, parasitism is usually between 10 to 50%, but during the second egg-laying period in late summer and early fall, it can reach as high as 90 to 100%. Eggs parasitized by these tiny wasps are easily identified by pinpoint holes found at one end of the egg. Spiders, assassin bugs, and praying mantis are predators of motile glassy-winged life stages. Lacewing will eat glassy-winged sharpshooter eggs.
Gonatocerus triguttatus wasp is the natural egg preditor of Glassy-winged Sharpshooter
How to encourage the parasitic wasp, Gonatocerus triguttatus to hang around your yard. The list of plants below are targeted to attract Gonatocerus triguttatus. Use the plants as an understory.
Fagopyrum esculentum – buckwheat
Lobularia maritima - Sweet Alyssum
Phacelia tanacetifolia – Lacy phacelia
It was originally native to the Southwestern United States and northern Mexico, but it is now used in many places in agriculture as a cover crop, a bee plant, an attractant for other beneficial insects, and an ornamental plant. It is planted in vineyards and alongside crop fields, where it is valued for its long, coiling inflorescences of nectar-rich flowers which open in sequence, giving a long flowering period. It is a good insectary plant, attracting pollinators such as honey bees.
It is also attractive to hoverflies (family Syrphidae), which are useful as biological pest control agents because they eat aphids and other pests
Anethum graveolens – Dill
When used as a companion planting, dill draws in many beneficial insects as the umbrella flower heads go to seed. Fittingly, it makes a good companion plant for cucumbers. It is a poor companion for carrots and tomatoes.
Vicia faba - Fava Beans