I’m sure that you’ve seen spittlebugs somewhere recently. They seem to be everywhere this spring. When I was little, I remember walking through the fields by our house and the plants would be covered with spittlebugs. My mom would tell me that it was frog spit and if I touched it I would get warts. So how do you test a hypothesis? You experiment. This led me to the aforementioned fields covered with “spit”. Imagine my delight and surprise when I discovered an insect buried in the middle of all that “spit”. ….I did wonder for quite some time about the wart thing…..I ended up getting a wart on my finger……
Spittlebug immatures are the ones that create spittle. They are a small, yellowish-green, wingless insects that resemble a leafhopper. Spittle is created as protection from predators and adverse environmental conditions; its a mixture of air and an excretion from their alimentary canal.
Spittlebugs have piercing-sucking mouthparts that are used to puncture plants and feed on juices. While heavy feeding can lead to distortion of the plant, typically damage is negligible and control is not needed.
If you feel the need to manage spittlebugs, or you are just grossed out by the spittle, you can remove it and the insects using a jet of water.