Answer: What you describe sound like spittlebugs. The two-lined spittlebug, Propsapia bicincta, is the most common leafhopper-like insect to damage turfgrasses, especially bermuda, St. Augustine, centipede, bahia, crab, Johnson, and orchard grasses. It also feeds on many crops, ornamentals, and weeds.
Nymphs and adults both suck plant juices through their straw-like mouthparts. In centipedegrass a reddish-purple and/or white stripe may run lengthwise down damaged grass blades. Heavy infestations may kill, wither, or reduce the growth of turfgrasses.
Nymphs may be yellow, orange, or white, and are covered by a frothy mass of spittle. Adults are about ? to ? inch long, black with two reddish-orange lines across the wings. Eyes are dark red.
About 2 generations occur each year. Eggs are laid in hollow stems, beneath leaf sheaths, or in thatch. Eggs overwinter and nymphs emerge in the spring to feed in humid, protected areas. One generation may last about 2 months.
An insecticide containing Carbaryl will control the spittlebugs. Be sure to apply according to label directions.
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