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Spittlebugs

By: Garden Gate staff
Spittlebugs, or froghoppers, are easily identified by the frothy, white foam that protects them from predators. They hatch in midspring and remain hidden for six to seven weeks.

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Spittlebugs

IDENTIFICATION – Spittlebugs, or froghoppers, are easily identified by the frothy, white foam that protects them from predators. They hatch in midspring and remain hidden for six to seven weeks. Winged adults emerge and continue to feed, but no longer form spittle. The adults lay eggs inside stems and under the surfaces of leaves.

DAMAGE – Wingless nymphs feed on plant sap. They excrete a clear liquid, mixing it with the sap and air to create their protective foam. Though not overly harmful, in large numbers they can weaken a plant, stunt growth and reduce crop yields. Spittlebugs especially like strawberries, corn and legumes.

CONTROL – Cultural practices will usually control spittlebugs. Nymphs are easy to remove by handpicking. Or a spray of water will knock them off the plant, preventing more damage. Destroy all infested foliage to prevent overwintering of eggs.

Published: Aug. 14, 2007
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