Control Spittle Bugs in Lawns
Spittlebug adults are about 3/8 inch long, dark brown or black, and have two orange stripes across their wings. The nymph is ivory-colored with a brown head. They live inside masses of spittle or froth, hence the name "spittlebug." Orange-colored eggs are deposited in bits of hollow stems and other debris. Nymphs hatch in about two weeks and begin to feed immediately by sucking juices from the grass. They cover themselves with a frothy mass known as spittle. There may be one or several nymphs in each spittle mass. The masses are found from just below the soil surface to a few inches above it. A heavily infested area will feel "squishy" when you walk across it due to numerous spittle masses. Centipede grass is especially prone to spittlebug infestation and populations often begin and increase in shady areas. In the Southeast United States there are 2 to 4 generations of spittlebugs each year.
Spittlebugs (spittle bugs) are often blamed for damage done by molecrickets, lawn fungus or chinch bugs. Simply seeing adult spittlebugs on your property does not equate to the extensive damage done by other lawn pests.
After treating for these lawn pests, you can still see the adults. This is because the pesticides used on your lawn cannot kill flying insects or beetles as they fly over your pesticide barrier. Your pesticide treatment will, however, kill the immature stages of the bug that damage your turf grass.
Control of spittlebugs is best achieved by treating with Acephate 75 Turf during the early morning hours, preferable just before dawn. Treatment is similar to treating for molecrickets with Acephate 75 Turf.