Updated: July 2, 2023


Hops plants are a popular choice among home gardeners and beer enthusiasts alike. These plants not only add a touch of beauty to the garden but also provide an essential ingredient for brewing beer. However, like any other plant, hops can sometimes fall victim to pests. One common issue that hop growers face is the presence of little bugs on their hops plants. In this article, we will explore the various types of bugs that may infest hops plants and provide tips on how to identify and manage them.

Types of Bugs Found on Hops Plants


Aphids are tiny insects that are often found in clusters on the undersides of leaves. They are typically green or black in color and have pear-shaped bodies. Aphids feed on plant sap, which can cause stunted growth, curling leaves, and a general decline in plant health. To identify aphids, inspect the leaves and stems of your hops plant for small, soft-bodied insects.

Spider Mites

Spider mites are another common pest that can infest hops plants. These minuscule arachnids are difficult to spot with the naked eye but can cause significant damage to your plant if left untreated. Spider mites feed on the sap of hops plants, causing yellowing leaves, webbing, and overall stress to the plant. To check for spider mites, shake a branch of your hops plant over a white sheet of paper and watch for tiny moving specks.

Japanese Beetles

Japanese beetles are a notorious pest that can wreak havoc on hops plants. These metallic green insects feed on the foliage of hops plants, leaving behind skeletonized leaves and significant damage. Adult Japanese beetles are about half an inch long and have shiny green bodies with copper-colored wings. If you notice irregularly shaped holes in your hops plant’s leaves, it may be a sign of a Japanese beetle infestation.


Leafhoppers are small, wedge-shaped insects that can affect the health of your hops plant. These pests feed on the sap of the plant and can transmit diseases, leading to wilting, yellowing, and stunted growth. Leafhoppers are usually green or brown in color and have wings that allow them to quickly move from plant to plant. To identify leafhoppers, inspect the undersides of leaves for tiny, hopping insects.

Managing Bug Infestations on Hops Plants

Natural Methods

If you notice little bugs on your hops plants, it’s essential to take action to prevent further damage. One of the first steps you can take is to introduce natural predators into your garden. Ladybugs, lacewings, and parasitic wasps are all beneficial insects that feed on aphids and other pests. By attracting these predators to your garden, you can help control the bug population naturally.

Additionally, you can use organic insecticidal soaps or neem oil sprays to deter and kill bugs on your hops plants. These products are safe for use in organic gardening and can be an effective way to manage pest infestations. Be sure to follow the instructions provided on the packaging when applying these products to ensure proper usage.

Cultural Practices

Implementing good cultural practices can also help prevent bug infestations on your hops plants. Regularly inspect your plants for any signs of pests and promptly remove any affected leaves or branches. Keeping your garden clean and free from debris can also discourage bugs from taking up residence in your hops plants.

Additionally, providing proper nutrition and watering practices can help keep your hops plants healthy and less susceptible to pest attacks. Avoid overwatering or underwatering your plants as this can stress them out and make them more vulnerable to pests. Mulching around the base of your plants can also help retain moisture and deter weeds, which can attract bugs.

Chemical Control

In severe cases of bug infestations, chemical control may be necessary. However, it is essential to use pesticides responsibly and follow all safety guidelines. Before applying any chemicals to your hops plants, read and follow the instructions provided on the product label.

When using chemical pesticides, it is crucial to choose products that are specifically labeled for use on hops plants. Be mindful of the pre-harvest interval (PHI) indicated on the pesticide label to ensure that you are not applying chemicals close to harvest time. It is also advisable to wear protective clothing, such as gloves and goggles, when handling and applying pesticides.


While little bugs on your hops plants can be frustrating, they can be managed effectively with the right approach. By identifying the type of bug infestation and implementing appropriate control methods, you can protect your hops plants and ensure a successful harvest. Whether you opt for natural predators, cultural practices, or chemical control, it’s important to take action promptly to prevent further damage and maintain the health of your hops plants.