Spitting bugs are insects which cause a great deal of damage to crops and homes. They are not only pests but also vectors of disease, as they carry diseases such as botulism from their feces. These insects have been around since ancient times, but today they’re considered one of the most destructive pest species because they can live in almost any environment.
The term “spitter” comes from the Latin word spatium (which means “to spit” or “to spew”), referring to the way these insects move their mouthparts when spitting out their droppings. A typical adult female may produce up to 500 eggs per day. When she lays her eggs, they hatch into larvae within 24 hours and then take several weeks before becoming adults. Adults usually feed on sap from leaves, flowers, fruit and other plant parts.
Spit bugs are very difficult to control because they reproduce so rapidly. Their populations can grow quickly enough to affect the health of nearby areas. They are also able to survive in many different environments, including warm temperatures and cold temperatures. Insecticides do not seem to work well against them; however, there is some evidence that certain natural products might be effective at controlling them.
Do spittlebugs damage the garden?
Spitting bugs are known to feed on over 500 types of plants, including popular crops such as alfalfa, lettuce, clover, cotton, and soybeans. They also feed on fruits such as watermelons and cantaloupes. The main way in which these insects damage plants is by injecting toxins into the leaves and stems while feeding. These toxins affect plant growth directly, eventually causing them to die.
The way in which they spit is very interesting. These insects have tiny glands located near their mouth and spit out toxic liquids onto the plants they feed on. This helps them to prevent other insects from feeding on the same plant and also to avoid becoming meals for other predators.
The saliva of these insects contain harmful toxins that are harmful to humans and other animals as well. They may produce allergic reactions in some people or cause asthma and other breathing problems.
How to identify spittlebugs?
Spitting insects can be recognized by their white and grub-like appearance. The nymphs are small and flat with a white color. They have an oval-shaped body and grow up to about 1 cm in length. The adults are bigger, about 2.5 cm, and have a more cylindrical body shape. The color varies from light gray or tan to brown or black and has a shiny texture.
What do spittlebugs eat?
Spitting bugs mainly feed on plant juices, which they suck out from the plants with a hollow needle-like proboscis. However, during their last nymphal stage, they feed on organic matter such as dead insects and even other nymphs. Adult spitting bugs do not feed at all and just live long enough to reproduce.
What are spittlebugs?
Spitting bugs are classified under the order called Hemiptera, which is further divided into two suborders: Auchenorrhyncha and Sternorrhyncha. Auchenorrhynchas are known as the “long-horned” insects, while sternorrhynchas are referred to as the “slug-like” or “worm-like” insects. The insects under Auchenorrhyncha have mouthparts that are well developed and are known to pierce plant tissues or suck out plant juices. These insects also have cornified wings and are able to “shoot quills” from their bodies as a defense mechanism.
Some of the most common auchenorrhynchas include aphids, cicadas, and leafhoppers. On the other hand, sternorrhynchas have mouthparts that are poor in development and are not used for feeding. They lack cornified wings as well, which is why they are also known as “wingless.” Most of these insects are parasites or live in close association with plants.
Some of the common sternorrhynchas include mealybugs, scale insects, and whiteflies.
Spitting bugs are also known as “spittle bugs.” They belong to the insect order called Cercopidae and fall under the suborder Entimina, which refers to those insects that pierce plant tissues for feeding and sucking out plant sap. These insects are known to cause damage to crops and other plants by injecting toxins into them with their saliva. The common spittlebugs have gray, white or green bodies and grow up to a maximum size of about 1 cm.
They also have long antennae, which could be as long as their entire body.
Are spittlebugs dangerous?
There are over 2,000 species of spittlebugs found in different parts of the world. Most of these insects can easily adapt to a variety of habitats and most are commonly found in temperate or tropical regions.
Most spitting insects produce foams, froths, or spittle-like substances, which act as a protection shield for them. The materials used for this protective cover are mostly composed of water, air, and in some cases, plant sap. In fact, some spittlebugs even have the ability to inject poisonous substances into plants with their saliva for easier feeding.
The presence of spittlebugs indicates a decline in the health of plants and crops. They are generally regarded as pests or even vectors of serious diseases in most parts of the world. Their presence can also cause allergic reactions in some people.
The spittlebugs lay their eggs in frothy masses, which are mostly found on the underside of the leaves of a plant. When these eggs hatch, nymphs emerge and start feeding on the leaves. The immobile nymphs secrete a foamy material on the underside of the leaf they are inhabiting. As they grow and molt, they move around on this foamy bed.
The adults do not stay on the bed, but return to it to feed.
As a rule, the immobile nymphs are more of a problem, since they secrete enough foam to cover an entire plant. This can result in the death of the plant commonly known as “crowded plant disease.” The adults can also cause damage to crops and other plants by injecting saliva with toxins when they feed on them.
These insects are also regarded as pests since they can harbor certain plant viruses. The nymphs of whitef ly, for instance, carry over 300 different kinds of plant viruses. These viruses are spread through the foamy material they secrete on leaves while feeding. When other insects come in contact with the foamy material, they get infected by the virus and contaminate other plants as well.
Spittlebugs damage over 200 different kinds of crops across the world. These include apples, alfalfa, soybeans, cotton, grapes, and many vegetables like potatoes, tomatoes, and tobacco.
Classification and Types of Spitting Bugs
The order of insects to which spittlebugs belong is referred to as Homoptera. This category is divided into two suborders: the Auchenorrhyncha and the Sternorrhyncha. The suborder Auchenorrhyncha mostly consists of plant feeders like aphids, scale insects and mealybugs. They also include some predators and bloodsuckers.
The suborder Sternorrhyncha is mostly made up of sap suckers like leafhoppers, planthoppers, and cicadas.
Some of the common spittlebugs found in different parts of the world include:
Cottony cushion scale
This small insect has a white, fluffy looking body and is usually found on plants like pittosporum, eucalyptus, rose bushes and privet. This insect mostly sucks the sap of these plants, but rarely causes any major damage.
These insects were accidentally introduced into Hawai’i from Australia in the year 1868. The insects arrived along with some Australian wood shipped to Hawai’i. They were first detected on the island of O’ahu and were later detected on other islands as well.
This insect has white, waxy scales that protect it from drying out and provide it with a camouflage against predators. Just like other homopterans, this insect also excretes a sweet, sticky substance from its body. These insects can also be found on branches and leaves. The females lay their eggs under the loose bark of trees.
The adult form of this insect is about 1mm long and has three pairs of legs. They have large, red eyes and are covered in short, golden colored hairs. The males are smaller than the females.