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Cuckoo spit - Philaenus spumarius - Sap sucking nymphs.


 
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James Kilkelly
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Joined: 30 May 2006
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Location: West of Ireland

PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 6:51 pm    Post subject: Cuckoo spit - Philaenus spumarius - Sap sucking nymphs. Reply with quote

Cuckoo spit - Philaenus spumarius - Sap sucking nymphs.
by GPI

Also known as snake spit, frog spit, and toad spit.

Plants affected
Everthing from pine trees to strawberry plants, however sap filled perennial flowers such as chrysanthemum, dahlia, plus shrubs/trees such as roses, fuchsia, rosemary, lavender, hawthorn and forms of willow are also attacked. Grasses are also favoured haunts.

Season(s) present.
May and June.

Cuckoo spit , photo / picture / image.

Appearance of damage.
Blobs of frothy white liquid on the stems of plants.

Cause
Arrow The "spit" is made by an insect, the young of the froghopper (Philaenus spumarius or Cercopis vulnerata).
Arrow The female froghopper lays her eggs in early summer, into slits and grooves in the stems of plants and wild un-mown grasses. The eggs hatch out in the following spring and the young nymphs emerge to clamber on to plant stems, where they then go on to produce nests of froth-like "cuckoo spit", within which they sit until they become fully mature frog hoppers.

Trouble?
Although the froghopper nymphs pierce plants and suck sap; causing slight damage and distortion of young shoots, the damage done is so minimal that it is nothing to worry about.

Organic or cultural control.
Arrow None usually needed as the nymphs be gone in a few weeks at the most.
Arrow If you really can't bear them, or if the cuckoo spit is being produced on your home grown veg and herbs, then a strong jet of water from a garden hose should be sufficient to dislodge them.

Other Control.
None needed.

Nature notes.
Please note that Irishgardeners.com does not advocate the removal of insect life, instead, this forum encourages wildlife preservation. However, there are occasions where a wildlifebecomes a problem within the garden for certain people. Be aware that wildlife is a link in the chain of life, benefiting something or someone down the chain. Please at least think about this before you remove wildlife from your site.

Any queries or comments on Cuckoo spit - Philaenus spumarius - Sap sucking nymphs, please post below.

Associated content...
Ireland's cuckoo is innocent.


Back to Pests of the Garden in Ireland - Prevention and Control.

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