Spittlebug gets its name from the frothy mass of spittle that larvae produce and hide in for protection. Larvae removed from the frothy mass are usually greenish, soft-bodied, leafhopperlike, and under 10 mm long. Spittlebugs suck plant sap but are rarely numerous enough to cause plant damage. The adults are stout-bodied, leafhopperlike, dull colored and rarely over 12 mm in length.
Spittlebugs are commonly found on junipers and pine trees and are quite unattractive. However, they inflict little damage on mature plants.
The best "control" of spittlebugs on ornamentals is to tolerate the situation until it passes, a matter of a few weeks. If action is required, forcefully hosing the plants is usually sufficient, if repeated two to three times. Carbaryl (Sevin) will kill the spittlebugs, but use of an insecticide should be considered an extreme response.
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