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Slime on leaves

Posted by keschub2 AL (My Page) on
Tue, Jun 11, 13 at 6:48

Hi everyone :-)

After searching the internet all day yesterday, I just can't figure out what this is! We got a lot of rain yesterday, but I did get some dry periods to get out and check my plants. I found this mucus/slime under the leaves on one of my sunflowers. It was disgusting! It looked like someone had spit on the plant, but the consistency was thicker. I've seen some spittlebugs in the past and this doesn't look the same...not really foamy at all, plus there were multiple little eggs or something in there. I sprayed it with the hose to get it off, and luckily it was only on one of them. Anyone have any idea what it is? I have been fighting off aphids and founds their eggs nearby on a cantaloupe plant. But I haven't seen anything that says aphids could do this.

If anyone could help me out, or point me in the direction of another thread where I can find the answer, I would really appreciate it!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Slime on leaves

I can't tell from the picture, but is it frothy? If it is, it may just be a spittle bug. They're a pest, but usually of such little importance control is not even recommended.


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RE: Slime on leaves

Slime mold? Frog's egg cluster? Weird, yes?


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RE: Slime on leaves

It isn't frothy, more like mucus I guess (sick, I know!). I found a couple frothy areas that I determined were spittlebugs a month or so ago, and this looks very different. I had looked at some pictures of slime mold, but this stuff has little eggs or something inside of it.. I guess maybe the slimy stuff could be occurring separately from the eggs, and they just happen to be in the same place? It came back today after I had washed it off last night.

Either way, the sunflower doesn't seem to be suffering from it so I suppose I'll just keep an eye on it! This is the first time I've had more than just a couple plants growing, and also my first summer in the south (originally from Chicago) so I've been running into so many strange little bugs and things that I've never seen before. This forum has helped me with every problem I've had so far :-) you guys are awesome!


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RE: Slime on leaves

Also, not sure if it makes a difference, but the picture is actually upside down. Some of it was dripping off, that's how gooey it was. The drop is at the top left of the slimy spot in the picture that way it's posted.


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RE: Slime on leaves

It wasn't bird poo was it? ;-) I raise chickens and honestly since the stool and urine comes out through the cloaca, a common duct, sometimes their stools look like a glob of white mucus.


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RE: Slime on leaves

Lol no :-P it was underneath the leaves and not on top at all.


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RE: Slime on leaves

You are truly one of the only other people on the Internet that I have found who also have this disgusting and strange issue. Last week I was looking at all my sunflowers out front and touching the leaves, and when I got to the last one, I stuck my hand in what appeared to be mucus. I was furious and assumed a neighbor carelessly spit in my garden. Dumped some water on it to clean it a little, and let the rain take care of the rest. Well today, I got out and see it AGAIN! On the same sunflower! Only this time I made note of the fact that this "mucus" is perfectly placed underneath the leaves. No one is so talented as to hock a loogie perfectly under leaves like that. So I put on some rubber gloves and took a few wet cloths out to clean it and see if it were some time of larva... And sure enough, there were little tiny white bugs in it. Not eggs tho, these things were actually moving around as I removed them. And there were lots. Totally unclear as to what these critters may be, but I just gently removed the nastiness and all and will be checking back in a few days to see if anything returns.


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RE: Slime on leaves

You are truly one of the only other people on the Internet that I have found who also have this disgusting and strange issue. Last week I was looking at all my sunflowers out front and touching the leaves, and when I got to the last one, I stuck my hand in what appeared to be mucus. I was furious and assumed a neighbor carelessly spit in my garden. Dumped some water on it to clean it a little, and let the rain take care of the rest. Well today, I got out and see it AGAIN! On the same sunflower! Only this time I made note of the fact that this "mucus" is perfectly placed underneath the leaves. No one is so talented as to hock a loogie perfectly under leaves like that. So I put on some rubber gloves and took a few wet cloths out to clean it and see if it were some time of larva... And sure enough, there were little tiny white bugs in it. Not eggs tho, these things were actually moving around as I removed them. And there were lots. Totally unclear as to what these critters may be, but I just gently removed the nastiness and all and will be checking back in a few days to see if anything returns.


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RE: Slime on leaves

Froghopper nymphs, known as spittle bugs. The adult resembles a little brown leafhopper. They damage nothing further than aesthetics.


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RE: Slime on leaves

Haha I really thought it was a big loogie at first too!!

I've seen spittle bugs on my plants before and I didn't think this was the same thing... I always saw the spittle covering looking more frothy and bubbly. Maybe it's more mucus like now because it's so much hotter and humid out? And previously, any spittle bugs were washed off really easily, whereas this needs to be wiped with a cloth to get it off all the way. It seems very sticky and at the same time it will actually drip if you move the plant around. Sick!

Either way, they don't seem to do any damage and they apparently only want to hang out on my sunflowers and nothing else!

Thanks for your input :-)


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RE: Slime on leaves

I actually just found this tonight on all of my smaller reddish colored sunflowers. At first I thought it was done sort of sap or something from the flower itself because I came dripping from down in the leaves , but after getting a couple off I noticed the eggs. Then I removed the what I thought were eggs and put them on a disposable plate to take photographs of and they started squirming all around. They were a cream to pale yellow in color and had tiny legs if you look closely enough. I have several photos. Please give more info if anyone knows. Im in East Tennessee.Thanks!


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RE: Slime on leaves

Another flower!


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RE: Slime on leaves

I found what is hatching in them but I can't ID still . It has 6 legs , a white and grey shell, it has bit my hand when I have got some of the bigger ones out of slime . Still not had one get big enough to see a bug form . Smaller than a small flea. I've took photos. Please help its driving me crazy not knowing! Thsnks so much!


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RE: Slime on leaves

Another view of unknown critter.


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RE: Slime on leaves

The other one that bit my hand .


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RE: Slime on leaves

This is what the insect that was hatched in the slime looks like now.a few things I noticed for sure I had were brown marmouthed stink bugs , leaf footed bugs, leaf hoppers , green worms but I still can not find anything that lays eggs in mucus or slime. It so baffles me. Please help dolce our mystery before I drive my husband crazy !


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