The Q&A Archives: White Foamy Slime On Bush Bean Plants

Question: Every Year I get a white foamy/slimy substance growing on the stem of my bush bean plants. I rotate the planting area yearly. I have tried using my "hiller furrower" and planting on hills. I rely on God for water so I don't really think that it can blamed on over watering every year, but maybe I'm wrong. It starts out as a white foam then the stem turns yellow and then appears to rot off and the plant dies. As soon as I see it I remove the affected plants; but by the end of the season every row has lost most it's plants. Any ideas on what might be causing this?

Answer: If it looks like foam or spit, the problem is with pests called spittlebugs. They are very small sucking insects and they cover themselves with foam to ward off predators. Under their protective covering they feed by sucking the juices from plant stems. You can hose these pests off with a strong stream of water or pinch them off your plants. Do this as soon as you see the spittle and you'll keep the population down to a tolerable number.

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