Spit Bugs On Plants - Knowledgebase Question

Milwaukie, OR
Question by dixiland
June 3, 2000
I have noticed that on some of my fuchias and other outdoor plants, perennials, & annuals there are spit bugs. Can I spray with a solution of dish soap and water? Will this hurt my plants? Or what do I do? Thank you so much for your help. I am getting ready to plant some Japanese iris in our pond. I found my answer in your question and answer section. Thank you again.


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Answer from NGA
June 3, 2000

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Spittlebugs are tiny little insects that attach themselves to leaves and stems of plants, feeding on the juices from plant tissues. They produce a foamy froth to protect themselves from predators. Soapy solutions can cause leaf burn on fuchsia's and other tender-leaved annuals and perennials and I like to avoid using insecticides on my plants whenever possible. I've found that a strong blast of water from the garden hose removes the spittlebugs from plants. They may return, but while they're making the trek from ground back to plant parts, they're not eating!

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