Pest to watch (out for): Spittlebug.

Lots of questions about these little guys at this time of year – here are some tips to deal with them!

Flowery Prose

Updated: 25 June 2021 (The original post was written 27 June 2012)

I’ve seen this creature’s work before, but only once in my garden, last June in a mat of ‘Flashing Lights’ dianthus.   Usually, I’ve come across it on wildflowers while I’ve been out hiking.   This year, the evidence is everywhere, however:  gobs of white frothy stuff wedged in the stems of various perennials in my garden.

I’ve never bothered to identify the source of the yucky substance until now, but a quick glance inside the book Garden Bugs of Alberta(by Ken Fry, Doug Macaulay and Don Williamson – 2008, Lone Pine Publishing) tells me that my garden flowers have a case of a small insect called Philaenus spumarius (meadow spittlebug).  Spittlebugs like to make Slurpees out of plant fluids, which they do by piercing holes in the stems of the victims.  (Apparently they really go after strawberries and peas; I…

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  1. Do this bugs cause significant damage? I see their ‘mess’ but no damage that I can attribute to them. I sort of wonder what they eat. Fortunately, they are uncommon in the landscapes, and common in the wildflowers, weeds and Algerian ivy.

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