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arrrrrrrrrrh is that what it is,,,i have noticed this spit on many of my plants this week...i to like you kate have a very tiny garden it was awful when i moved in and over the years transformed it completly its really lovely cottage garden look ,i have got much wildlife to ,frogs,toads,newts,to many birds to mension and a bliming bees-nest ...[tree bumble-bees],foxes,fox-cubs and monkjack deer,mice in shed,the list is endless but i love it all and the most wonderful thing is there is so much more to find out and know .my garden is approx 22ftwide by 22ft lenght but brill news i have managed to buy some land to the side of my garden so that will give me an extra nearly 40 ft....already designing in my head....cant wait...
Ah muddyboots I wondered if they might be tree bumblebees, hope you are getting on ok with them as neighbours. I have male tree bumblebees scent marking over my garden at the moment, it's fascinating to watch. Hope some females turn up for them soon! Your garden sounds lovely. Just read about your woodpecker and blue tits. How horrible! Poor you!
called cuckoo spit as it appear in late spring at a time when the familiar call of cuckoos can be heard
Hi Kate, I started a garden in a very similar way a few years ago. When I started out I had an expanse of gravel and an overgrown Cotoneaster. Now you can't move for plants. It's amazing how quickly animals notice the change and respond making your garden their home. I love having insects and birds buzzing around when I'm in the garden and judge this as a true success. If only more people could appreciate it. Ryan (
hi kate ,do you mean that there will be more bees [females] waiting to enter the nest .... well i think they are tree-bees as i e-mailed the person you gave a link to,and stephanie replied to me.. unfortunatley i was stung today on the eye-brow...not good not good....very sore...'i dont know mother nature'. not good news about blue-tits being attack by woodpecker but i now have a woodcrete birdbox up ready for next years blue-tits... do i have to take cockoo spit of my plants or just leave well alone???


Hi Ryan, totally agree. When my block of flats was built eight years ago all the 'garden' areas were paved, and so far I'm the only one who's taken up the slabs and made a garden. Seems such a waste in London to have concrete when you could have greenery and wildlife... Muddyboots, I meant females for male French bees in my garden, which are turning up to the same spot each day hoping a female is waiting for them. Sorry to hear about your sting! Lovely to hear you've bought a woodpecker-proof bird box for the blue tits! And yes, if you don't mind all that spit, you can leave the cuckoo spit well alone. Kate
Here's a trick. If you wipe the spittle away with a grass stem to expose the pale nymph inside, you can watch it re-spume itself. It rotates its abdomen like a slow egg-whisk, whilst all the time exuding liquid (it has a plentiful supply of sap to suck) and blowing bubbles out through its back end. It's bad enough that cuckoos are maligned by false accusations of expectoration, let's hope no one cottons on to the flatulence involved too.
I have cuckoo spit all over my Clematis montana and it is very welcome. I once put a froghopper adult in a matchbox with a lily beetle to show my children how beautiful insects could be and was rewarded by a succession of beetles brought to me for identification. Ladybirds were the supreme favourite.
ah I wondered if it was bad for plants, always get some on my dianthus...i will leave it alone now, I may even investigate it re-spuming !
Hello all, Ok so it sounds like cuckoo spit is a good thing really. I've been quite worried since it's started appearing on my rosemary and sage plants. One question though, will the rosemary and sage still be edible afterwards or do I have to let these plants just go to nature?
Richard I uncovered a nymph yesterday and instead of re-spuming it just trotted off, tail in the air. It looked quite put out! laradurham I would have thought the plants are safe to eat after they've been used by froghoppers - the 'spit' is mainly plant sap, although technically it is froghopper-nymph excrement. It wouldn't bother me, though.
Tonight I have blanched most of my spinach and to my horror, loads of little white grubs floated to the top of the water! I went through each leaf and found more inbedded in the actual leaf its self, What are these??? Also there are little white flat circles that were floating too!! Even more so I have been picking the spinach and eating it raw in our sandwiches and salads!!!!! Please help!
Hi Claire, sounds like leaf miner fly. I've got it on my spinach too, I'm just careful to harvest leaves which haven't been affected. If you remove and destroy the affected leaves, you may limit the chances of a second generation this year. But they do overwinter in soil and they can also fly.Kate
Thanks kate, the thing thats worried me is I only noticed them when I went to blanch them and the leaves went translucent! I'll inspect each leaf when I next harvest them I got rid of all the larger leaves cos the baby leaves seemed fine!Its knocked me off eating it though!! Thanks again!


No worries Claire. I once blanched some spinach and found a poor caterpillar writhing in agony in the boiling water. It died a few seconds later. Am always really careful to check now.
Cuckoo spit, in my roses, lavendor plants, I get the jet (garden hose) BUT THEY NEXT DAY, plan B, take them out with a damn cloths, this take long time. My grand father, taught me, ash, how to get ash, I normally burn all my paper work,take the ash and just sprinkle on to cuckoo spit. There are seveal way of get rid of them, such joy going around the flowers borders, if you time, patient. Hope you will enjoy my experience, thank you Ramya Perera, Brighton
What an encouraging blog. I have noticed cuckoo spit on my lavender this year. It looks a bit odd but I leave it alone as I too have seen an increase in species of wildlife in my garden.When I noticed it a few days ago it cheered me up. Long may it continue . idon't find it a pest at all.
Hmmm, interesting... I've seen there's been a fair amount of cuckoo spit appearing on my rosemary lately and I've just noticed a couple of blobs on adjacent strawberries too, and came online to read more about froghoppers and find out what the best way of getting rid of the spit is - but after what everyone's said here I may well just leave it as most of you don't seem to regard it as a problem as such. I can take a bit of insect poo froth with my herbs :)
i have always wondered what cuckoo spit is!I found some on my lavender and strawberries the other day. Another wildlife edition to the garden!I have bees living in the roof of the house and a birds nest on the eves.we are getting rather crowded.