COUNTY AG NEWS

Spittlebugs

This year we have spittlebugs showing up in area strawberries.

Spittlebugs occur through-out the United States and can at least occasionally be found on almost any plant. Adult spittlebugs are inconspicuous, often greenish or brownish insects, about ¼-inch long, look like leafhoppers and readily jump or fly when disturbed. Immature spittlebugs are recognized by the frothy white mass that nymphs surround themselves with on plant tissue where they feed.

The spittlebug is a common insect in strawberries in home gardens but it is not usually damaging enough to be considered a problem. The nymphs create a foamy mass that they use for protection. Spittlebugs suck plant juices and heavy infestations may distort plant tissue and slow plant growth. The obvious and occasionally abundant masses of white foam on cones, foliage, or stems may be unsightly, but spittlebugs do not seriously harm established woody plants.

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