Friday, April 28, 2017


spittlebug spittleI'm sure that you've seen spittlebugs somewhere recently.  They seem to be everywhere this spring.  When I was little, I remember walking through the fields by our house and the plants would be covered with spittlebugs.  My mom would tell me that it was frog spit and if I touched it I would get warts.  So how do you test a hypothesis?  You experiment. This led me to the aforementioned fields covered with "spit".  Imagine my delight and surprise when I discovered an insect buried in the middle of all that "spit".  ....I did wonder for quite some time about the wart thing.....I ended up getting a wart on my finger......

Spittlebug immatures are the ones that create spittle.  They are a small, yellowish-green, wingless insects that resemble a leafhopper.  Spittle is created as protection from predators and adverse environmental conditions; its a mixture of air and an excretion from their alimentary canal.

spittlebugSpittlebugs have piercing-sucking mouthparts that are used to puncture plants and feed on juices.  While heavy feeding can lead to distortion of the plant, typically damage is negligible and control is not needed.

If you feel the need to manage spittlebugs, or you are just grossed out by the spittle, you can remove it and the insects using a jet of water.

Friday, April 21, 2017

2017 All Bugs Good and Bad Webinar Series: Ticks

When: Friday, May 5th, 1:00PM CDT
Where: online

tickIn this webinar, Dr. Thomas Mather, Professor, University of Rhode Island,  (aka "the tick guy") will talk about an important arachnid, ticks.  Ticks that you do and don't see as well as how to protect yourself, your family, and your pets will be discussed.  Moderated by Ellen Huckabay and Bethany O'Rear, Regional Extension Agents, Alabama Extension. Click here to login as a guest and participate in the live event.   Note: on May 5th, the link to the live webinar opens about 15 minutes before the webinar. If you try to log in earlier, you will get an error message.

For more webinars in this series, see 2017 All Bugs Good and Bad Webinar Series. The webinars are brought to you by the following eXtension Communities of Practice: Ant Pests, and Urban IPM; and by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Clemson Cooperative Extension and University of Georgia Extension.