bugs that hitch on my lawn mower
Location: East Tennessee (near Knoxville)
August 15, 2010 4:13 pm
When I mow the lawn with an electric lawn mower, lots of these little dark bugs with red stripes like to ride along. The seem to be especially attracted to the cover of the battery compartment and can fly. I can’t find them on-line.
You have Two-Lined Spittlebugs, Prosapia bicincta, and we would bet our last dollar that you probably have masses of what looks like spittle on your tall grasses and other plants. These are the homes of the larva of the adult Two-Lined Spittlebugs that you have photographed. Once they mature, the winged adults become more mobile. BugGuide indicates: “In the immature (nymph) stage (surrounded by the “spittle” foam which protects them, and which they produce from juices they suck from the plant) they feed on centipedegrass, bermudagrass and other grasses, including occasionally corn. Adults feed on hollies – they feed on the underside of leaves, and damage shows up as pale mottling not usually visible from above.“