Two Lined Spittle
Bugs in North Florida Lawns
Description of Spittle
Adult spittle bugs are black with red eyes and legs and have two
orange stripes across their wings. They are ¼ inch long. Nymphs are white to pale yellow with a brownish head.
They are enveloped in white frothy spittle that they excrete for protection.
Damage to Lawns:
Both Nymphs and
larvae feed on grass blades by sucking juices out of the plant. Infected wilts and the tops turn yellow then
brown and curled.
Spittle bugs prefer
Centipede lawn grass and sometimes on Bermuda and some ornamental plants such as Holly and sometimes redbud
trees or cherry.
Reproduction and Life Cycle of
Spittle Bugs in Jacksonville | St. Augustine | North Florida areas:
There are two generations of spittlebug each year. Eggs are
laid and go through 5 nymphal stages before reaching maturity in about 2 1/2 months time. Eggs laid in the
second generation overwinter and hatch and begin their growth cycle the following spring usually around March or
April. Adults are abundant in June and again in August and September.
Control of Spittle bugs on the
When identified in the lawn, mow and remove clippings from
the site. Removing thatch from the lawn will drastically reduce spittlebug issues.
proper watering guides may help spittle bug populations as well because they need moist conditions for peak
Water the lawn with
½ inch of water prior to chemical treatment. Diazanon is the chemical of choice for spittle bug
A Word of Caution from Me to
Perhaps it is my many years of dealing with the people in
the Agriculture industry who have lived long lives and encountered many troubles with chemicals during their
careers, but I cannot talk about chemical control without at least my mentioning the following
Make sure to read all directions carefully and apply liquid sprays diluted with
water at the application rate recommended on the product label for the pest you are targeting and do not mix
stronger than suggested target treatment rates.
insecticides are POISONS and approach their use with caution, wear protective eye gear and chemical resistant
gloves and rubber boots as well as long sleeved shirts and pants. Remember to wash these items separately from
other laundry immediately after application and shower after getting the clothes into the
Lastly but most
importantly, pay particular attention to lock unused chemicals up away from visiting children and pets.
So that’s it on the
speech about chemicals, I hope I have been able to help you know what’s wrong and how to treat it so now you
have to help me sleep easier by indulging me with these motherly concerns, fair trade don’t you think?
I’ll sleep easier knowing that you did.