spit bugs on rosemary plants
This past summer, I installed two rosemary plants in my backyard. I had thought given this plant's hardiness that they would be a no-brainer for easy care here in the Albquerque area.
What I was treated to instead was a massive infestation of spit bugs on the plants. Plus some other cobwebby parasites of the unidentified sorts infesting the lower reaches of one rosemary close to the ground.
The spit bugs are talked about on web sites as 'harmless' and you can just knock them off with water. Well they aren't harmless at all here. They sucked so much moisture out of my one rosemary that the whole plant began to shrivel. Spraying them with water would only hold the bugs back for a day at most. By the day after, the plant would be covered with 'spit globs' again. The plant recovered somewhat during October when it got too cold for the bugs, but it still looks weak and twiggy.
Anyone have any suggestions for how to deal with these pests and still be able to occasionally use the rosemary for cooking? I couldn't bring myself to use the plant even after a sprig had been cleaned pretty thoroughly.