The Q&A Archives: Foamy Strawberry Plants

Question: I have everbearng strawberrys which I planted last spring. This spring started great with lots of blooms and fruit. However, lately I have been seeing a foamy substance on the strawberry plants just above where the fruit is. What is this, how can I get rid of it, and how will it affect my crop? I snipped off the fruit where the foam was, but I am loosing the fruit from that stem. Is there a better solution?

Answer: I'd venture to guess your plants have fallen victim to Spittle Bugs. These are really tiny little fellas that feed by sucking the juices out of stems and leaves. They protect themselves from predators by manufacturing a bubbly foam that disguises them, and makes them appear larger than they really are. Spittle Bugs can be hosed off plants with a strong stream of water. Your plants should recover from the attack. Be sure to rake up and destroy fallen leaves at the end of the season (just in case the Spittle Bugs have laid eggs on them). After you've washed the pests off the fruit, the strawberries should be safe to eat.

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