The number of Glassy Winged Sharpshooters detections has risen over the last week and treatment has begun within the three-mile radius, covering over 80 properties in Southeastern Arizona, where the problem has been identified.

The Glassy Winged Sharpshooter is the primary carrier of Pierce’s Disease, an infection of the plant that has no viable remedy and has the potential to wipe-out the $18 million wine growing industry in Arizona and impact vineyard crops. In addition, the pest stands to threaten one of Arizona’s key landscaping ornamentals – the oleander – as well as citrus and nut crops.

A male and female were first detected in Sierra Vista, Arizona in August of 2005 in a trap that was set out as part of more than 800 traps throughout the state to monitor this pest. Now, the problem is back as the Arizona Department of Agriculture has found over 100 additional adults in a three-mile square region in Sierra Vista.

Treatment has begun at within the three-mile radius of the problem and over 80 properties will be treated. Commercial applicators have been brought in to reach into the tops of the trees and thoroughly address the issue.

The glassy-winged sharpshooter is native to the southeastern United States. It was first found in California in 1990 and has threatened many of the vineyards in that region.

This leafhopper is a large insect, almost a half-inch in length. It is a dark brown to black. Its head is stippled with either ivory or yellowish spots. It receives its name from the transparent portions of the front wings.

The glassy-winged sharpshooter can fly up to one-quarter of a mile, and it frequently appears in high numbers. The insect is able to survive winter temperatures dipping as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

The insect overwinters as an adult. It begins laying egg masses from late February through May. The year's first generation matures as adults from May through August. The year's second generation begins as egg masses laid from June through September. It is this generation that produces the next year's offspring.