Thursday, June 25, 2009

Landscape - Spittlebugs on Leyland Cypress

We have had a rash of reports of small foam patches on Leyland cypress needles. This is spittlebug. No control in necessary. This is more information

On certain evergreens, pine spittlebugs overwinter in the egg stage. When the nymphs hatch from their eggs, they begin to feed. Spittlebugs suck sap out of the plants with their needle-like mouthparts. As the nymphs feed, they excrete spittle that protects them from predaceous mites and insects and keeps them from drying out. There is only one generation per year. In July and August, female pine spittlebugs lay their eggs in dead wood or under the bark of live stems of pines, spruces, firs, hemlock and other conifers. Control is usually not needed. However, heavily infested Leyland cypress, junipers or pines could be treated with Orthene or some other contact insecticide as spittle masses or when the adults are present in early summer. A strong stream of water from a hose could dislodge them enough to make on impact in the home landscape.

Information adapted from the June 6, 2008 edition of the North Carolina Pest News from NC State University.

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