London (change)
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12/06/2013 at 21:08

I've just found a few of these in my London garden - they are pale green/yellowish and about 2mm long. I think they are grubs or caterpillars...I only noticed them at all because they seem to exude a weird, frothy spit-like substance in which they sit, if that makes sense, usually in the join of two branches (noticed them in my shrub roses and sedum green roof mainly).

I propmptly squished them in disgust.

What are they?

12/06/2013 at 21:13

Cuckoo spit bug.

12/06/2013 at 21:19

Don't know their name but as M says the froth is called cuckoo spit and the bug develops in it. They don't usually do any harm to the plant.. You can squish them if you want or I wash off or rub off.

12/06/2013 at 21:20

Ohh I know this one, it is cuckoo spit , it was on Springwatch makes the spit from its bottom to protect it as it tastes bitter...

12/06/2013 at 21:21

The little bug in the Cuckoo Spit is called a Froghopper - they talked about it on Springwatch this evening.

12/06/2013 at 21:22

Froghopper- same thing as cuckoo spit bug I think. They don't really do any harm Jess. You can spray them off with the hose.

12/06/2013 at 22:06

oooooh! you're all so knowledgable!

so if they're harmless to the plants  (must be a first in my pest-ridden garden) should I be ecofriendly and leave them be?!

12/06/2013 at 22:11


If you don't like the look of them  a jet of water from the hose or a hand held squirty thing sees them off the plants 

    12/06/2013 at 23:15

Hello! Spraying the froghoppers with  jet of water isn't really a very friendly thing to do... the 'spit' is protecting the nymphs while they develop. They don't do any harm to plants at all so if you want to let them get on with being froghoppers, it's best to just leave them be.

13/06/2013 at 09:09

They are sap suckers so while one on a plant may do little harm, a major infestation would weaken the plant.

13/06/2013 at 09:56

aaah thanks Berghill - I had wondered...

13/06/2013 at 10:40

agree with berghill...the odd few are ok but often they become many and weaken the plant.  the hose is the answer...they wont die just move away.  not really a friend to the gardener, are they?  If so Im ready to learn

13/06/2013 at 12:58

They also can cause a certain amount of distortion to stems on susceptible plants. I certainly do not allow them to stay on plants in the Greenhouse.

13/06/2013 at 13:06

it's agreat many years since i've seen enough of these to qualify as an infestation.

13/06/2013 at 13:46

interesting - thanks for all you replies - not noticed many on my roses ans sedums and certainly no immediate damage, but they are unsightly, so I may hose them away yes.

13/06/2013 at 14:13

They only seem to love my Rosemary plants, have not found them on anything else

13/06/2013 at 14:19

Yes, just kill them Jess, why not 

13/06/2013 at 14:47

A few doesn't sound like a major infestation. I haven't seen any of these in years, I remember them in my parents garden and always found them really interesting. When my dad first told me they were cuckoo spit I took it literally and thought it was great that cuckoo's were spitting in our garden.

13/06/2013 at 19:16


I think I may squish them - almost impossible to water jet them off a sedum roof without drowning my neighbour and his garden in the process!



14/06/2013 at 10:57

I too remember these from many years ago - we used to find them on loads ofplants but hadn't seem them forages.  Now I've got them on my lavender bushes but not too many. I'll leave them alone since the concensus seems to be that they are harmless.  What exactly are froghoppers and what do they eat when adult?


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