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I found these white bugs on my Carolina Reaper plant last week. They seem to leave white webs/fluff behind them, as you can see in the picture. From what I've read online, they appear to me to be mealybugs, except that these little fellas jump. Are they dangerous to the plant? How should I deal with them?

I can try and get a better picture or from a different angle, if that would help.

Edit: I asked a buddy of mine who does landscape architecture, and he said it looks like some kind of spider to him, though he has no idea what kind. I looked at a list of all spiders in Indiana (where I live), and didn't find anything that even comes close to resembling it. I used a similar website to look at common bugs in Indiana, but couldn't find anything there, either. I'm in Southern Indiana, if that helps.

Update: A Carolina mantis decided that s/he now owns the pepper plant. There are no more white bugs/spiders to be seen.

enter image description here

  • Looks like a Mealy bug? – Viv Jul 12 '16 at 0:04
  • That's what it looked like to me, too, except that they jump. I've read elsewhere that mealybugs don't jump, is that incorrect? – deckeresq Jul 12 '16 at 16:10
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Aha! After tons of Googling, I finally found that this is a Flatid Leafhopper.

Apparently they aren't inherently dangerous to plants, but can carry a virus which is devastating to most herbaceous life. As such, I'll be getting rid of them. The recommended tool is neem oil, in case anyone else comes across this.

Some links:

  • Which virus is it? – Shule Jul 12 '16 at 18:45
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    It is aster yellows – deckeresq Jul 14 '16 at 16:54

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