A number of pesticides can control leaf-footed bug populations, including those containing cyfluthrin, permethrin or esfenvalerate. It is important to avoid using permethrins on fruit less than 1 inch in diameter. Additionally, be sure to follow all of the directions on the pesticide bottle including those relating to the timing of application.
For those seeking organic solutions to the troublesome pests, the University of Georgia's College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences suggests eradicating the adults that overwinter below the plants in the soil and mulch. By pouring soapy water on the mulch, the adults will crawl to the surface where they can be captured or killed by hand.
Leaf-footed bugs are so named for the flare-like extensions on their rear legs. Like all other insects of the order Hemiptera, leaf-footed bugs have piercing/sucking mouthparts that allow them to suck liquids from their food. Additionally, like others of the order Hemiptera, leaf-footed bugs undergo incomplete metamorphosis in which wingless nymphs hatch from the egg and then progress through several molts before becoming adults. Leaf-footed bugs have a durable exoskeleton to protect them from predators.
Leaf-footed bugs may feed on tomatoes, citrus fruits, eggplant, pecans, corn, blackberry, blueberry and many other fruits and vegetables. They often leave behind scars that are said to resemble the face of a cat.