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There is SPIT on my Plants!

There is SPIT on my Plants!

Do your perennials or trees look like someone is spitting on them? You’ve got one of insects that are logically called spittlebugs. In late May and early June the nymphs protect themselves with a froth of bubbles created as they suck on the plants’ juices. Spittlebugs are usually considered a cosmetic problem; it looks kind of creepy to have “spit” all over your plants, but no significant damage is done unless there are many nymphs on a single plant. Wash the plant off with a stream of water, or crush the nymph that’s in the froth with your fingers if you want to get rid of them.

This is  how many plants on Cape Cod look right now...as if someone has spit all over them!

This is how many plants on Cape Cod look right now…as if someone has spit all over them!

The red arrow points to the little nymph that's causing the problem. Fortunately this phase of the insects life doesn't last long!

The red arrow points to the little nymph that’s causing the problem. Fortunately this phase of the insects life doesn’t last long! If you wait a couple of weeks the “spit” will disappear.

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4 Comments

  1. Althea Green on June 12, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    Thanks for the information on my hydrangeas. I have been watching them and hoping for some sign of life. I do have lots of green at the base but only stick branches. Your information has answered my questions.
    I love your informational emails and read every one. I was in your store today and also told the clerk who checked me out how much I enjoy them. I have planted every plant I bought today. I am late in planting but was happy to see the nice selection you still had to buy. I will be back next week for more….
    Althea

    • CLFornari on June 12, 2014 at 3:35 pm

      Althea,
      Your comment will be put on our employee board – at such a busy time of year it’s so good to hear from a customer such as yourself!

  2. Naomi Just on June 13, 2014 at 11:34 am

    Hi Nan,

    Spittle bugs DO cause damage and are not just cosmetic. They suck the life out of the tops of the plant—- from where they start munching upwards the plant droops and shrivels up. I just squash them right in their little spittle hideaways with my thumb and forefinger. Eww !

    • CLFornari on June 13, 2014 at 12:52 pm

      Naomi – If the spittle bugs are in great numbers on new foliage the plant might shrivel but if your entire plant is drooping it’s likely that something other than spittle bugs are the problem. For most plants and in most gardens these insects don’t do much damage. Agreed that squashing them is a good means of control.

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