Suds Or Foamy Substance On Perennials - Knowledgebase Question

Name: Anastasia Iliou
West Babylon, NY
Question by ailiou
May 25, 2001
I've noticed a substance almost like soap suds on some of my perennial plants. What does this mean? We've had a four week drought and now one week of rain here. This started during the drought, if that means anything, and we have a sprinkler system. Thank you


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Answer from NGA
May 25, 2001

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The first thing that leaps to my mind is spittlebugs. 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. You can squish them between your fingers, if you'd prefer. They're not as damaging to plants as some of the other insects out there, but they don't make things in the garden look very appetizing! Go after them with a strong stream of water.

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