Spittlebugs, also called Spit bugs, Spittle bug or Froghoppers.

You can easily find them in your garden by the foamy 'spit' nests they make on the stem of the plant.

nest of spittlebugs

It is rare for them to do any serious damage to your plants, unless you had a heavy infestation of them.

The adults are shaped like a little frog; hence the name 'froghoppers''

They lay their tiny white eggs in a row in stems and in garden debris.

The eggs need a high humidity to hatch. Once hatched, the nymphs will find a spot to their liking on a stem (usually where a leaf is attached to the stem), and for protection, will cover themselves in a liquid bubble solution they secrete from their backsides. These 'bubbles' are produced from the sap of the plant they are feeding on.

The 'spit' not only hides them from predators, but keeps them hydrated and insulates them from temperature extremes.

Actually it is really not 'spit' at all, but if you've ever been strolling through the garden in early morning and spotted that foam on your plants, it sure does look like someone spit there!

The main diet of the Spittlebugs is grass, and you will find them in grassy areas usually beginning in June, or mid spring in your area. They also enjoy flowers (roses being one of them),strawberries, and other shrubs and trees.

Although they do suck some juices from your plant, the damage is minimal; sometimes causing flower distortion, but the plant recovers quickly once the bugs are gone.

Controlling Spittlebugs

If you just don't want them in your garden, you can spray them off with a shot of water from the garden hose. This might not get rid of them for good;they could just climb back up the plant and begin frothing up another batch of bubbles as they feed.

The best solution is to hand pick them and either squish them or drop them into some alcohol or soapy water.

If you see a mass of 'spittle', there will be a spittlebug inside it. They hide during the heat of the day, and prefer to feed in the early morning.


Learn more about Garden Bugs

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