WSU Extension

Hortsense

Strawberry
 
Disease
Common leaf spot 
Gray mold 
Red stele 
Viruses 
Insect
Aphids 
Brown marmorated stink bug 
Cutworms and armyworms 
Leafrollers 
Mites 
Root weevils 
Slugs 
Spittlebugs 
Spotted wing Drosophila (SWD) 



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Caption: Spittle bug foam
Photo by: A.L. Antonelli
  
Strawberry : Spittlebugs
(revision date: 6/8/2015)


Biology
Spittlebugs feed on many plants. On strawberry, the nymphs feed on the leaves and leaf stems, preferring the tender new growth. Infested plants are stunted, and leaves may be distorted or killed. They may also feed on buds, blossoms, and fruit, which can be distorted. Spittlebug nymphs are pale to green in color and are typically covered with a distinctive white, foamy mass of protective spittle. The nymphs and spittle are present for 1-2 months on the plants beginning around April or May. The adult spittlebugs are mottled gray or brown. They are about 1/4" long. Spittlebugs overwinter as eggs laid in the fall.
Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
  • Hand-picking may be sufficient control in home gardens.
  • Wash spittle from plants with a strong stream of water.
  • Several predators including yellowjackets prey on spittlebugs. Avoid use of broad-spectrum insecticides which kill beneficial insects.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management

Apply when blossom buds appear. DO NOT apply when open blossoms are present to avoid bee poisoning. Control of spittlebugs with chemicals is almost impossible once spittle masses are present.

Listed below are examples of pesticides that are legal in Washington. Always read and follow all label directions.
  • Azamax Botanical Insecticide, Miticide, & Nematicide [Organic]
    Active ingredient: azadirachtin  |  EPA reg no: 71908-1-81268
  • Bug Buster-O [Organic]
    Active ingredient: pyrethrins  |  EPA reg no: 1021-1771-54705
  • This list may not include all products registered for this use.
Images

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Caption: Spittle bug foam
Photo by: A.L. Antonelli