Spittlebugs on Lavender

boozer52September 19, 2010

I am on Long Beach, Ca and have planted a drought tollerant front yard going The Russian sage has a significant amount of browning branches and I have completely lost one lavender. The rest of the lavendar have varying amount of damages. I would like to know what to do to minimize the damage going forward. For the past few weeks I have gone out and trimmed off the branshes with the spit-like substance and by the following week there are at least 25-50 on each plant. For the last two weeks I have been spraying a combination of water, oil and soap on the "spit" and have not noticed much of a difference. I would like to limit the use of chemicals that will kill off all insects, but I am kind of at a loss right now.

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Spittlebugs, as a rule, actually do little harm to plants, even though they do suck some of a plants sap. Washing the froth off from around where the larva is does little since that wee bugger will simply produce more froth to protect itself from predators. Encouarging predators in the garden is really the best means of control.
Some sources I have seen will tell one to apply a pesticide with high enough pressure to wash the foam away, which is pretty much a large waste of your money since most of the pesticide goes someplace where it probably is not even needed or desired. I would look for some other cause of the plants dieing than the spittlebugs.

Here is a link that might be useful: spittlebugs

    Bookmark   September 20, 2010 at 7:04AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Kimmsr, '25-50' spittlebugs per plant constitutes a population that can certainly cause damage.

I've been doing some reading about the effectiveness of Neem oil on spittlebugs, and the reports are very positive. Be sure to find a cold-pressed product. And avoid a product mixed with other insecticides.

The use of Neem, in conjunction with sharp sprays of plain water, should help slow down damage from feeding.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2010 at 9:06AM
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Thank you for your help. I will see how it goes for the next week or so and if it does not improve I will try neem. The plant that was killed was still very small and it looks like the rest of them will survive now that they are larger. (Plants were planted from 1 gal containers 4 months ago) I just don't like looking at the damaged parts. I have inspected the plants very closely and only the parts that had the spittle bugs were damaged.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2010 at 11:53AM
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novice_2009(zone 6b)

I've got the same problem on some tansy. Not as important as a lavender plant, but still.
Each day I go out, remove all the "spit" from the plant,
and the within two days there's more. I've seen these foamy egg clusters before, but just a little.
This is a LOT! I'll check out the link on spittlebugs.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2010 at 6:04AM
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