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How to Get Rid of Spittle Bugs

For most people who love to take care of their garden themselves, their plants are their passion. Taking care of their garden is their hobby and they try everything to keep their garden healthy and blooming. Taking pride in the healthy growth of their garden is a norm for people who love gardening.

There are times, however, when plants can come under threat from a number of predators out there. And to keep in mind, not all predators are animals looking for food. You might have taken all precautions to save your plants from these predators.

Scarecrows in the garden or models of bigger predators are an effective way of scaring the small animals away. For sometime at least, you can ensure the safety of your plants with these measures. But what about the predators that are great at hiding?    

Among many pests that can infect plants, one of the hardest to notice is spittle bug.

About Spittle Bugs

Since these pests are great at hiding, it’s not always easy to spot a spittle bug infestation. If you are an avid gardener and tend to the plants regularly, you might be able to spot them.

Their name comes from a spittle-like substance that they produce. It can also look like soap suds on the plants. Spittle nymphs secrete a liquid out of their back ends and use it to make the spittle. Then using their hind legs, they cover themselves with the spittle-like substance. A perfect hiding place for them!

Other than protecting the bugs from predators, the spittle also helps them bear extreme weather and temperatures. Once they get in their hiding place, they don’t have to worry about hydration because the spittle provides them with all the hydration they need.

The foam is easy to notice, if you inspect the plant carefully. You can normally find it near the place where the leaf meets the stem and also where two branches attach to each other.

People who are avid gardeners usually wonder where the insects come from. Well, they lay their eggs in old plant debris. So if you have been overlooking de-weeding and cleaning your garden, it’s likely that spittle bugs can infect your plants.

Generally, the bugs are not a health hazard but they can damage your plants. The bugs not only feed on them but can also cause stunted development of plants. It’s time to remove this threat and provide new life to your garden.    

5 Methods to Get Rid of Spittle Bugs—For Good!

Given below are different methods that are designed to help every gardener get rid of spittle bugs once and for all!

  1. Splash them away

The best method of manually getting rid of spittle bug is to just spray them with water while tending to the garden. Keep in mind though, this method only works for small scale and easily accessible infestations.  

  1. Try Bug Zappers

This device can make a great past time. The great thing is that it’ll work on all insects that terrorize your plants. The device uses an electrical discharge to kill insects. Then again, it can only help in getting rid of infestations that are moderate in size. It’s definitely worth a try.

  1. Clean the garden

Spittle bugs get their food from plants and lay their eggs in old plant debris. If you keep your garden clean, spittle bugs would have to do without the debris. This way, you can effectively prevent the infestation from growing, while you use other methods to get rid of existing spittle bugs.

  1. Use Plant-based Oils

These essential oils can do wonders and easily deter the feeding pattern of spittle bugs. When their normal activities are interrupted, it will help you getting rid of the bugs. Citrus-based oils are quite effective. They not only help control infestations but also prevent them in the future.

  1. Spray insecticides

People eventually use insecticides as a last resort. When all other ways fails, insecticides are the only way to get rid of spittle bugs successfully. If you don’t want to harm your plants, you might want to go for the less toxic options in the market. Insecticidal soaps are a great option, too.

More toxic insecticides include pyrethroids such as, carbaryl and cyfluthrin. These can all be found on our Solutions Pest & Lawn website.They should be used as the last resort, when even the less toxic ones are unsuccessful in dealing with the infestation.  You also can’t go wrong with Pyrid Aerosol.

Preventing a Spittle Bug Infestation

The first step of prevention is to keep your garden clean. Spittle bugs lay their eggs in plant debris and removing that should be your first step in preventing a spittle bug infestation. Make sure there is no decaying organic material in the garden. This way you remove the ideal environment for spittle bugs to lay eggs.

Overwatering your garden is another big No. The soil should have enough water but overdoing it would eventually accumulate thatch. This can also occur if you don’t have an effective drainage system in the garden. Ensure that the soil doesn’t get more than its share of water or ultimately you’ll find yourself dealing with spittle bug infestations.

Use row covers to protect the plants not just from spittle bugs but also other pests. Covers made of lightweight fabric or plastic are a cheap and easy-to-use way to get rid of spittle bugs. Experts recommend fabric row covers. Try that to ensure the safety and health of your garden!

For more helpful pest control advice from DIY experts, call us at 800-479-6583, email us at askapro@solutionsstores.com or live chat with us online!



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