7 Tips On How To Get Rid Of Spittlebugs
Have you noticed spit on your plants? Did you immediately think it was one of your kids or your spouse who did that? Before you go blaming your kids or partner, check your plants for spittlebugs first.
What Are Spittlebugs?
Spittlebug drinks about 300 times its body weight in plant fluids in one hour's time. As a result of all the drinking, they produce a lot of waste, and that’s what causes all the spit on your plants.
Because of all the spit on your plants, you probably want to get rid of these spittlebugs, but spit aside, spittlebugs can also harm your precious plants! They not only will feed on your plants, but your plants may undergo stunted development and can also lose some of its vitality.
But don't panic just yet! After some thorough research and several readings, we’ve chosen 7 efficient ways to help you get rid of these nasty bugs.
Here are 7 different ways detailing how to get rid of spittlebugs:
1. Manually Remove Them
Look around your garden and keep your eyes peeled for spittlebug patches. When you find them, use your hand to physically remove them off of your plant.
If you don't want to touch them, you can knock them off by spraying water directly on the spittlebug patch. This is one of the easiest methods of how to get rid of spittlebugs; however, I would only recommend doing this for light and easily accessible infestations only.
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2. Regularly Clean Up Your Garden
Spittlebug eggs will form in and around garden debris and other similar areas. You need to clean up your garden now and then to get rid of old plant matter. Cleaning up your garden is another method of how to get rid of spittlebugs.
With religious cleaning, you’ll get rid of the eggs and will, thereby limit, the number of spittlebugs that will hatch.
3. Use Row Covers
Row covers are made of lightweight fabric or plastic and can be used to protect your crops from spittlebugs and other pests. They are an effective and cheap method to get rid of spittlebugs.
Unlike plastic row covers, fabric row covers have tiny holes in them which allow the rain to come in and heat to go out. I would definitely recommend the fabric variety over the plastic ones.
4. Make A Homemade Pesticide Spray
Although there are a lot of commercial pesticide sprays available on the market, these are very harmful to you and your plants.
Pesticide, when ingested or inhaled, is toxic and very hazardous to your health. Similarly, putting these chemicals on your plants would get rid of the pests but will change your plants and taint the flowers and fruits.
I would recommend making a homemade pesticide spray as the way to go on how to get rid of spittlebugs.
I would suggest using garlic or something spicy as your base for your organic homemade pesticide. You can even mix garlic and peppers with water to make it twice as effective.
Here is a simple but effective organic how to get rid of spittlebugs pesticide spray:
- 2 cups water
- 10 very hot small to medium-sized chili peppers (habanero or jalapeño)
- 12 small to medium peeled garlic cloves
- 3 tbsp. cayenne pepper
- 1/4 cup non-toxic dish detergent or castile soap
- Plastic pump spray bottle
- Rubber gloves
- Face mask
- Cheesecloth or coffee filter
- Glass jar with lid
- Wooden spoon
Step 1. Cover your nose and mouth with the face mask to protect your airways from the strong-smelling fumes of the pepper and garlic.
Step 2. Put on the rubber gloves to protect your hands from the peppers.
Step 3. Pour 1 cup of water in the blender along with the garlic cloves and the peppers. Add the cayenne pepper and blend this mixture on high until the mixture is pureed.
Step 4. Add the rest of the water and continue to blend.
Step 5. Using the cheesecloth or coffee filter, strain the mixture into the large jar.
Step 6. Add the dish detergent or the castile soap little by little. Gradually stir it completely in using the wooden spoon.
Step 7. Place the lid on the jar, then let it sit in a cool, dark place for 24 to 48 hours.
Step 8. Use the funnel to pour the mixture into the spray bottle.
Step 9. Spray directly on and around your plants and soil.
First, you'll want to wipe all the spit off of your plants then spray away. Be sure to test your pesticide on a small portion of your plant to make sure that you don't do any serious harm to it.
Also, only do this on gloomy and rainy days because your spicy pesticide could burn your plant and kill it.
5. Use Predatory Insects
Praying mantises tend to prey on most insects and pests. You could try ordering a few and releasing them onto your pest-laden plants and monitor the results after a week.
This method is a more drastic means regarding how to get rid of spittlebugs and only try this when the others have failed.
6. Try Plant-Based Oils
Plant-based essential oils are a great way to deter spittlebug feeding patterns and can help disrupt their normal activities. I would recommend trying neem oil or any citrus-based oil such as lemon or orange oil to control and prevent spittlebug infestation.
7. Insecticidal Soaps
There are a lot of organic insecticidal soaps available in the market. These insecticidal soaps help control and rid your plants of pests like spittlebugs.
They contain potassium salts of fatty acids which can break down the pests' outer shells and cause them to become dehydrated and lose body fluids.
Spittlebugs are really a nuisance in any garden. Not only do they spit on your plants, they will harm your plants too. Don’t let spittlebugs ruin your plants! Plan accordingly and follow the 7 tips and tricks above detailing how to get rid of spittlebugs.
Please let me know if you have any other comments or suggestions or your own tips and tricks for getting rid of spittlebugs. I’d love to hear your thoughts!