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13 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Leaf-Footed Bugs (Leptoglossus)

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13 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Leaf-Footed Bugs

When insect pests such as the leaf-footed bug get into your garden and damage your plants, it is frustrating and may even set your harvest back.

Leaf-footed bugs are not dangerous, as they do not harm humans. However, when there is an infestation or the population gets out of control, it can cause damage to your crops.

When pests are destroying your crops, you have to figure out the best and safest options to control them to take better care of your plants.

Do not despair; there are different ways to get rid of these insects from your garden or house without using harsh chemicals. Sometimes multiple remedies can be most beneficial.

Leaf-Footed Bug Identification

These critters, otherwise called pomegranate bugs, cause damage similar to that of stink bugs [1].

Leaf-footed plant bugs are noticeable because their hind legs look like tiny leaves. They use their piercing-sucking mouthparts to mostly feed on the fruits and seeds of certain plants.

How to Get Rid of Leaf-Footed Bugs Naturally

If you’ve been looking for ways to control these bugs, below are 13 natural and organic ways to remove them from your garden.

1. Use Row Covers

Row covers have many uses in the garden, one of which is to control all kinds of pests. However, it is best to use it at the beginning of your planting season before the pests arrive.

Once the bugs are already present, this may not be the best option, as they are already in your garden. Also, the material used should be light in weight and have the ability to let water pass through.

A downside may be that it prevents beneficial bugs from reaching your plants.

2. Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is a great organic leaf-footed bug control remedy.

It can be added to your garden or around the house to make sure dangerous bugs stay away.

You can sprinkle DE on or around your plants, and the good news is that you don’t need to use it a lot. Just a little bit will help eradicate unwanted pests.

You do, however, need to reapply after any rain. Not only will it help rid your yard and garden of these critters, but it is organic and natural as well, unlike Sevin dust. Read more on how to use diatomaceous earth for pest control.

3. Neem Oil

Neem oil concentrate, which primarily works on leaf-footed nymphs, will help keep leaf-footed bugs at bay.

Alternatively, make a homemade leaf-footed bug spray by mixing two tablespoons of pure neem oil with a gallon of water. Spray it on both sides of the leaves.

However, do not spray beneficial bugs, as it can exterminate any insect on contact.

4. Physically Remove Bugs

If you spend a lot of time out in your garden, removing the bugs physically is a good solution. So, take the time to look through the plants and at the backs of the leaves.

When you see a bug, pick it off and squeeze it between your gloved fingers. If that doesn’t sound pleasant to you, you can also drop the bug in soapy water to kill it by suffocation.

5. Clear Woodpiles and Winter Shelters

It is typical to leave remnants of wood and debris around your yard and winter shelters. However, this is something that can invite these creatures to your gardens.

They will look for warm places to go during the winter, and their survival means more eggs in the spring.

More eggs mean more damage to your garden later. It is also a good idea to patch up any holes in warm places where the bugs might want to hide.

6. Get Rid of Weeds

Weeds can attract these bugs as well. Leaf-footed bugs will likely stick around to eat the leaves of your weeds, lay their eggs, and multiply.

But if you do not give them food, they will die out or go elsewhere. Therefore, if you pull the weeds, the less likely it is that these insects will stay.

7. Prune Your Trees

Leaf-footed bugs love to eat the leaves of certain plants and fruit trees, like tomatoes and pomegranates. As a result, it is important to prune the branches on these trees to help keep these pests away.

Get out a garden tool like a pruning shear or scissor, and make sure to especially get any branches that are close to the ground.

Pruning your trees can also help you notice where the pesky insects are hiding, so they can be removed.

8. Natural Predators

Not all bugs are pests. Some can help drive out the less desirable ones and even do good for your crops.

Some of the useful garden insects are wasps, tachinid flies, and assassin bugs. Know them and their eggs, and be sure to let them be. In return, they will help get rid of the bad bugs naturally for you.

Other leaf-footed bug predators include birds, frogs, spiders, lizards, and snakes. Moreover, bluebirds, wrens, and cardinals eat stink bugs [2], so I’m assuming they’ll also eat leaf-footed bugs.

9. Trap Crop

A trap crop is a plant that will attract bugs to get them away from any plants they are destroying. If you are growing a vegetable garden, it might be helpful to add sunflowers nearby.

Sunflower is a great trap crop for the leaf footed bug. The critters love the seeds, and they may even leave other plants alone to get to the sunflowers.

To get rid of the bugs, shake them out of the sunflowers, and afterward, step on or drop them into soapy water.

10. Remove the Eggs 

Leaf-footed bugs tend to lay their golden-brown, cylindrical eggs in a row. You can find them under leaves or on stems.

You can physically pick the eggs off and either crush them or place them in hot, soapy water to kill them.


ECOWORKS is a great organic pesticide that can be used in the garden. Not only is it good for getting rid of many insect pests, but it is also great for treating fungus.

Its ingredients list Azadirachtin as one of the main elements that make the pesticide effective, killing the critters on contact.

Depending on how you would like to apply it, be sure to follow the instructions on the container when using it in your garden.

12. Azera

Another great natural insecticide to use against this menace is Azera. The product uses extracts from neem trees and daisies that have been proven to work on most garden pests.

Therefore, this organic insecticide will likely kill leaf-footed bugs and other species of Leptoglossus.

13. Kaolin Clay

Kaolin clay is a natural crop protectant that can be sprayed on your plants to create a barrier so insect pests cannot get to your precious plants.

While it can be used for most crops, it is very effective on fruit trees, grape trees, and garden plants like cucumbers and tomatoes.

Related: How to Get Rid of Stink Bugs (Home Remedies and More)


Pests are not fun or welcome in your garden, especially leaf-footed bugs.

Fortunately, there are many methods to get rid of bugs organically. These will help ensure your garden thrives and give you the fruits and vegetables you have worked so hard for.

Image via Flickr/Katja Schul

Sasha Brown

Sasha Brown is a blogger and lover of all things natural.

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