Warning as strange Spittlebug moss appears on garden plants

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Households have been urged to watch out for foamy white moss on garden plants, after fears it was linked to the spread of an invasive plant disease.

Cuckoo spit, caused by spittlebug nymphs, often appears on young plant stems and leaves beginning in May. Although it generally does little harm, scientists fear that the deadly plant disease Xylella could be spread in UK gardens by spittlebugs. Known as one of the most dangerous pathogens in the world, the disease has already destroyed crops, including olive groves, citrus fruits and vineyards.

As spittlebugs are the potential vector for the disease, experts are urging people to report any sightings of the moss so it can be tracked.

    “Please let us know when you see sputum, nymphs (juveniles) or adults of xylem-feeding insects (stink bugs/leafhoppers and some leafhoppers) that have the potential to act as vectors for the bacteria,” said one. Spittlebug Survey spokesperson. Told The Express.

    “These recordings will help us get an idea of ​​where the insects are, what plants they are feeding on and how much they move around. This information will be essential in deciding how best to react if the Xylella bacterium arrives in the UK.”

    What does the peekaboo brooch look like?

    The cuckoo brooch is a white foamy liquid that can be found on the stems and leaves of plants around the country. Essentially, it looks like a mass of white bubbles. It is caused by the larvae of an insect called a frog, where the insect sucks sap from the plant.

    According to the RHS, you should not use insecticide against frogs. Small insects have few detrimental effects on plants and should be tolerated as part of the biodiversity that gardens support.

      frog cocoon, spittlebug larvae, cuckoo spitting, talegaon,

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      If you see one in your garden, be sure to report the sightings on the RHS website. See here for more information. You can also remove the moss with a stream of water from the garden hose.

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