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Froghopper

Scientific Name: Philaenus spumarius
Other name: Spittlebug, Cuckoo Spit

image of adult Froghopper
Adult Froghopper

Froghoppers are small sap-sucking insects which are able to jump great distances if they feel threatened. They are a dark brownish colour and have a frog-like appearance.

image of froghopper nymph and cuckoo spit
The most common sighting is during early summer as so-called 'cuckoo spit' on stems and leaves which is caused by the nymphs as they secrete excess sap from their rear end to form a protective froth when they feed. The damage to soft, rapidly growing plant tissue sometimes causes it to become distorted.

The damage is not usually severe and they do not need treatment. There is a risk of disease transmission if they move from plant to plant. If they are to be removed a squirt of water usually dislodges the cuckoo spit and the nymph. Permethrin can be used as a spray.

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