Q: I have these strange pests on the bottom of my sunflower leaves. We have searched high and low to find what they are. I would greatly appreciate it if you could identify them and tell me how I may safely get rid of them so they do not eat all my vegetables and plants. Jennifer Thurmond
A: Your insects are treehoppers. They don’t really hurt sunflowers. They suck small amounts of sap from plant stems but are generally considered harmless. Females may insert eggs in stems but not enough to do much harm.
They are close kin to planthoppers, which coat themselves with white, waxy filaments while they rest on stems of hosta, azalea, coneflower, etc. Blast them off with a water hose if they bother you.
Planthoppers on hosta stem