Ask a Question forum→Strange white foam on my black-eyed susan!

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North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
Life & gardens: make them beautiful
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joannakat
Jun 3, 2018 1:30 PM CST
Hi everyone,

I noticed a strange white, foamy substance on my black-eyed Susan. Does anyone know what it is and whether I should do something about it or just let it be?

Thanks.

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AKA Joey.
UK
Starfishmomma
Jun 3, 2018 1:35 PM CST
Cuckoo spit? I've just been fumbling with my rosemary shrub and it's got lots in it, a bit less now that some of it got on me :(
Name: Mindi Hammerstone
Tracy, CA (Zone 9b)
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MindiHammerstone
Jun 3, 2018 1:36 PM CST
It's some kind of insect but that is all I know about it. Not sure if it is friend or foe. Someone will come along and help.

Oh I wasn't paying attention to who I was talking to. You know more than I do lol.

Rolling on the floor laughing

Mindi
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
Life & gardens: make them beautiful
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joannakat
Jun 3, 2018 1:39 PM CST
Starfishmomma said:Cuckoo spit? I've just been fumbling with my rosemary shrub and it's got lots in it, a bit less now that some of it got on me :(


What? As in cuckoo bird?

AKA Joey.
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
Life & gardens: make them beautiful
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Bee Lover Garden Photography Cat Lover Butterflies Region: Massachusetts
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joannakat
Jun 3, 2018 1:43 PM CST
Oh, so maybe I have froghopper nymphs? I just read something that says you can just wash it off with a hose. And that they don't really harm the plants, does this sound right?
AKA Joey.
Name: Mindi Hammerstone
Tracy, CA (Zone 9b)
Dog Lover Dragonflies
MindiHammerstone
Jun 3, 2018 1:49 PM CST
I remembered them called spittlebugs and it also said froghoppers. So you are right. It says the young eat on the plants.

I just googled it lol.

😀

Mindi
Name: Karen
New Mexico (Zone 8a)
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plantmanager
Jun 3, 2018 1:49 PM CST
Maybe you have spittle bugs.
https://www.gardeningknowhow.c...
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UK
Starfishmomma
Jun 3, 2018 1:53 PM CST
I've always know it to be harmless, but things may be different elsewhere (different climate, plantsianother version of the insect, etc), it should be fairly easy to squirt off with some water - it wipes of quite easily too.
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
Life & gardens: make them beautiful
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Bee Lover Garden Photography Cat Lover Butterflies Region: Massachusetts
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joannakat
Jun 3, 2018 2:30 PM CST
plantmanager said:Maybe you have spittle bugs.
https://www.gardeningknowhow.c...


Karen, that's it! And a very good article too. Thank You!

And thank you everyone else too. Mystery solved! Very much appreciated. I do love this group!

AKA Joey.
Name: Rick R.
Minneapolis, MN, USA zone 4
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Leftwood
Jun 4, 2018 10:04 PM CST
There is usually only one spittle bug in each mass of spittle. The green bugs are large enough to feel for between your fingers withing the spittle and thus easy to squish. I don't think dislodging them with a water spray would keep them from coming back (like it does with aphids).

@Starfishmomma , I'd still like to know about "cuckoo spit".
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Name: Sue Taylor
Northumberland, UK
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kniphofia
Jun 4, 2018 10:06 PM CST
It's called cuckoo spit here in the UK. As far as I know it's harmless.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4b)
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sooby
Jun 5, 2018 5:30 AM CST
Yes, I remember the froth being called cuckoo spit when I lived in the UK. It's the same thing, though, with a bug inside it.
UK
Starfishmomma
Jun 5, 2018 11:53 AM CST
According to https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/...,
"Cuckoo spit begins to appear in late spring at a time when the familiar call of cuckoos can be heard, but otherwise has no connection with the bird."

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