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Spittle bugs

I have noticed over the past few weeks that a lot of the herbs and veg plants we have growing in the garden are infested with a bug that I know as "Cuckoo spit" or "spittle bug". Does this bug cause any damage to the plants? If they do, are there any organic treatments I can use or any companion plants that will discourage them?


Spittle bugs suck the sap from the green stems and leaves of herbs and veggies, etc. They don't do too much damage; they look worse than they really are!

To control, it is important to hose off plants to remove spittle before using an insecticide. You may find that just hosing does the trick. If not, follow up with a spray of Pyrethrum which is an organic insecticide.

UnitecAdvice by Dr Dan Blanchon from Unitec's Diploma in Sustainable Horticulture and Bachelor of Resource Management.

Reproduced with permission from NZOOM Home and Garden content,
from the previous website of  TVNZ News

The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH

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Last updated: June 27, 2005