spit on weeds?

Asked June 15, 2016, 8:45 PM EDT

I have noticed in the last few years that a week or so before I am invaded by rose chafers, I find a lot of tall weeds in the field behind my house have what looks like a bit of spit or soap suds around the middle of tall weeds. A friend heard it may be spiders; I have noticed that a week later, the chafers show up en masse. Is this coincidence or are we both wrong?

Otsego County Michigan

1 Response

Hello. You are seeing part of the life cycle of spittle bugs. The foamy 'spittle' is the protective covering for a nymph that is developing inside. There is no correlation to Rose chafers or spiders other than they are both showing up around the same time, as are many insects with the weather warming. Control of spittle bugs is hardly ever necessary unless you have a large cash crop. The spittle protects the insect from insecticides so if they are present in your garden and you want to remove them just cut away with the part of the plant where the insect is evident.