Even while a few spittlebugs (Clasirptora spp. ), which create spit wads, won’t destroy your garden, these insects do syphon sap from leaves, which eventually weakens the plant that they are feeding on. When spittlebugs are in their larval stage, they employ the spit wads to defend themselves from predators while they eat.
After reaching maturity, the beetles, which are a quarter of an inch long and a dull gray-brown colour and are also known as spitter bugs or spit beetles, continue to feed on plants even if the foam cover is no longer there. Spittlebugs may be found on lawns, decorative plants, and food plants, but if you are persistent, you will be able to get rid of these pests in your garden.
Hand Washing Method for Spittlebugs
Washing them off with water from the hose is a straightforward method that does not involve the use of any harmful chemicals. This procedure is especially useful for treating mild infestations in limited regions where it is possible to monitor the spot and provide follow-up treatment when fresh spit masses emerge. Hand picking is yet another way that does not involve the use of any hazardous chemicals. First, remove the foam with a damp cloth, and then pick and crush the larva that is below it. After dealing with any plant that is known to have pests, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before going on to other gardening chores.
Chemical Control Method
Spraying insecticidal soap on spittlebug larvae and adults is a chemical approach that may be used to get rid of both stages of the pest. In a clean spray bottle or garden sprayer, combine one gallon of water and five teaspoons of insecticidal soap spray concentrate. First, give it a good shake, and then spray it straight on the spittlebugs. Continue doing this on a weekly basis until the spittlebugs are no longer a problem. When dealing with insecticides, always be sure to use protective eyewear and clothes, and keep people, animals, and young children away from treated plants until they have had a chance to completely dry out.
Do Nothing Approach
It is true that spittlebugs may cause harm to plants when they eat in huge quantities; however, this scenario very rarely occurs. If there are just a few spittlebugs on a mature shrub or woody perennial and the foamy spittle isn’t making your plants look terrible, you don’t need to worry about getting rid of them. Natural predators, such as parasitic wasps, feed on the larvae as they emerge from their eggs, which finally leads to the garden regaining its equilibrium. Tender perennials and annuals suffer more severe damage from spittlebugs.
Favorite Host Plants for Spittlebugs
In their quest for host plants, spittlebugs are not choosy, although they do have a few species that they like more than others. It would seem that annual beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) and strawberries (Fragaria x ananassa), both of which may be grown in USDA plant hardiness zones 5 through 8, are of great appeal. You’ll also see them often on rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), which grows in USDA zones 8 through 10, and lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), which grows in USDA zones 5 through 8. Both of these plants are native to Europe.
Lawn Damage and Control
Lawns are susceptible to infestation and damage from the two-lined spittlebug, a kind of beetle that develops into an adult with a black body and red stripes that run horizontally. While it is still in the larval stage, it creates the protective spit wads while it is eating. Most of the time, the larvae will eat close to the grass roots. Your best defence against two-lined spittlebugs is to have your grass well cut and raked. Spittlebugs may be managed in part by watering the garden less often and for shorter durations.
Insecticides for the Lawn
Use an insecticide that is ready to use and includes pyrethroids to spray the spittlebug larvae until they are completely covered in the chemical. There are pesticides available on the market that are designed particularly for lawns and connect to your garden hose. To properly water the grass, all you need to do is turn on the water faucet. Insecticides should be used throughout the spring and early summer, or anytime the larvae are present, whichever comes first.
Children and animals should not be let on the grass until it has fully dried off. While you are spraying, you should be sure to wear eye protection, a respirator, and long trousers and sleeves. When the bottle of pesticide is finished being used, puncture the bottom of the bottle, and then toss it away.