Does Triazicide Kill Spittlebugs? A Quick Guide for Gardeners

Triazicide is a popular insecticide used by gardeners and homeowners to combat a variety of pests that can damage plants and landscapes. One such pest that can be found in gardens and on various plants is the spittlebug. These small insects are known for the frothy, white foam they produce while feeding on plant juices.

Spittlebugs can cause damage to ornamental grasses, roses, chrysanthemums, clover, strawberries, herbs, and many other garden plants. As a result, finding an effective method to control and eliminate this pest is crucial for maintaining a healthy garden. Triazicide may be a potential solution, but it’s important to consider its effectiveness against spittlebugs, as well as any potential drawbacks to using this insecticide.

Understanding Spittlebugs

Life Cycle and Development

Spittlebugs, also known as froghoppers, belong to the order Hemiptera. Their life cycle includes four stages: eggs, nymphs, larvae, and adult. Female spittlebugs lay eggs on plants, typically in spring, and the nymphs emerge shortly afterwards1.

Nymphs create a protective froth by mixing sap with air, which serves as their shelter and hiding place from predators. As the nymphs grow, they molt several times before turning into larvae. Finally, the larvae transform into adult spittlebugs, completing their life cycle.

Host Plants

Spittlebugs can infest a variety of host plants, with some species having preferences for certain types. For example, the two-lined spittlebug is known to attack turfgrass, especially centipedegrass, as well as some ornamental plants like asters, hollies, and morning glories2. These insects may also be found on goldenrod shoots3.

Damage Caused to Plants

Spittlebugs can cause significant damage to plants in two main ways:

  • Feeding on sap: As they feed on plant sap, spittlebugs can deplete essential nutrients from their host plants4. This may lead to overall plant stress and decline in health.

  • Injecting toxins: Some spittlebug species, like the two-lined spittlebug, inject toxins into their host plants when feeding5. Symptoms of damage from these toxins include yellowing grass blades that eventually turn brown or purple.

References:

Identifying and Detecting an Infestation

Signs and Symptoms

Spittlebugs cause damage to a variety of plants, leaving behind distinctive symptoms. Some of these symptoms include:

  • Yellowing: Infested grass blades will turn yellow in color
  • Browning: Over time, affected grass may turn brown or purplish
  • Frothy substance: Nymphs produce a frothy, white foam, also known as spittle

Plants like asters, hollies, morning glories, centipedegrass, and turfgrass are most likely to attract two-lined spittlebugs.

Common Locations

Spittlebugs can be found in various locations within your lawn or garden. Here are some common locations where infestations may occur:

  • Grass: Spittlebugs often infest turfgrass and centipedegrass
  • Weeds: These pests can be found hiding in weedy areas
  • Pine trees and junipers: Spittlebugs may also attack evergreen plants such as pine trees and junipers

Inspect these locations for signs of infestation and take appropriate action to control spittlebugs.

Predators and Natural Enemies

Spittlebugs have various natural enemies that can help keep their population in check. Some examples of predatory insects include:

  • Lacewings: Known for feeding on many soft-bodied insects like spittlebugs
  • Lady beetles: They are efficient predators of spittlebugs and other pests
  • Spiders: Beneficial because they feed on a wide variety of insect pests, including spittlebugs

These predators can act as a natural means of controlling spittlebug infestations and supporting a healthy ecosystem in your garden or lawn.

Methods of Control and Prevention

Cultural Control Methods

Cultural control methods are essential in managing spittlebugs. These methods focus on reducing the chances of infestation and promoting healthy growth for your plants. Some examples of cultural control methods include:

  • Regular mowing: Keep grass cut to an appropriate height, as this helps prevent the buildup of spittlebug populations.
  • Proper drainage: Ensure your garden has adequate drainage to prevent waterlogging, which could attract spittlebugs.
  • Healthy root system and soil: Provide plants with proper care to promote strong roots and maintain nutrient-rich soil.

Understanding Chemical Control

Chemical control is effective in managing spittlebugs when used correctly. There are various products available, but it’s essential to choose the right one for your situation. Here are some aspects of chemical control:

  • Treatment: Applying chemical insecticides should be done as a targeted treatment rather than a preventative measure.
  • Garden hose: Many chemical insecticides attach to your garden hose for easy application.
Chemical insecticides Pros Cons
Gamma-cyhalothrin Fast-acting, broad-spectrum Moderate to high toxicity
Pyrethroids Plant-friendly, lower toxicity Not as rapid as other options

Organic and Least Toxic Options

There are several organic and least toxic options available for controlling spittlebugs. These options offer a more environmentally friendly approach:

  • Garlic: Crushed garlic, when applied to affected areas, can help deter spittlebugs from infesting your plants.
  • Prevention: Focusing on prevention methods such as proper care, maintenance, and adequate spacing of plants can minimize the need for chemical treatments.
  • Pest control: Some organic pest control options, like introducing natural enemies like ladybugs and lacewings, can help reduce the spittlebug population.

Remember, using least toxic options helps in minimizing the impact on the environment and human health. Always follow directions provided by product manufacturers, and consult with a professional pest control service when necessary.

Using Triazicide for Spittlebug Control

Effectiveness and Application

Spectracide Triazicide is an insecticide known for its effectiveness in controlling various pests, including two-lined spittlebugs that may reside in lawns, ornamentals, and general home landscapes. The active ingredient in Triazicide is gamma-cyhalothrin, a potent pyrethroid insecticide, making it quite useful against froghoppers. When applied correctly, Triazicide can help control spittlebug populations and protect your plants.

To apply Triazicide, follow these steps:

  1. Attach the hose-end sprayer to your garden hose.
  2. Begin spraying your lawn or ornamentals, ensuring full coverage of the affected areas.
  3. Reapply if heavy rain occurs within 24 hours after the initial application.

Reference Table: Insecticides

Insecticide Active Ingredient Target Pest
Triazicide gamma-cyhalothrin Spittlebugs
Bifenthrin bifenthrin Spittlebugs
Carbaryl carbaryl Spittlebugs
Cyfluthrin cyfluthrin Spittlebugs

Safety and Precautions

While Triazicide may be a powerful spittlebug control solution, some safety measures should be considered to protect your pets and surroundings:

  1. Keep pets indoors or away from treated areas until the product dries completely.
  2. Avoid applying Triazicide near water sources, as it can be harmful to aquatic life.
  3. Do not mix Triazicide concentrate with other pesticides.

In summary, Spectracide Triazicide is a reliable and powerful insecticide for spittlebug control. It can effectively exterminate two-lined spittlebugs when applied correctly, but always follow the safety precautions provided to ensure the well-being of your plants, pets, and environment.

Other Pests Controlled by Triazicide

Indoor Pests

Triazicide is an effective insecticide that controls various indoor pests. These include:

  • Crickets: Helps eliminate house crickets that can be a nuisance indoors.
  • Roaches: Targets various species of cockroaches, including German and American varieties.
  • Mites: Controls common dust mites found in household environments.
  • Ticks: Aids in reducing the presence of ticks that can transmit diseases.
  • Ants: Alleviates issues with different types of ants found in homes.

Outdoor Pests

Triazicide also works effectively against several outdoor pests, such as:

  • Centipedes, Millipedes, Sowbugs, and Earwigs: Targets these crawling insects that invade home foundations and gardens.
  • Fleas, Spider Mites, and Mealybugs: Controls these plant-feeding insects that can damage gardens and lawns.
  • Cutworms, Japanese Beetles, and Hyperodes Weevils: Effectively eradicates these pests that can wreak havoc on various plants and crops.
  • Leafhoppers and Palmetto Bugs: Eliminates these bugs that are known to transmit plant diseases.
  • Grubs, Sod Webworms, and Billbugs: Suitable for controlling these types of pests that can damage turfs and soil.
  • Mole Crickets: Targets mole crickets that can burrow under the ground, causing lawn damage.

Here’s a comparison table for indoor and outdoor pests:

Indoor Pests Outdoor Pests
Crickets Centipedes
Roaches Millipedes
Mites Sowbugs
Ticks Earwigs
Ants Fleas
Spider Mites
Mealybugs
Cutworms
Japanese Beetles
Hyperodes Weevils
Leafhoppers
Palmetto Bugs
Grubs
Sod Webworms
Billbugs
Mole Crickets

For gardeners dealing with minor pest infestations, a soapy water solution can be an alternative control method.

However, pros of using Triazicide include:

  • Broad range of pests controlled
  • Effective for both indoor and outdoor use

Cons of using Triazicide include:

  • Toxic to beneficial insects and aquatic life
  • May require multiple applications for severe infestations

Footnotes

  1. Wisconsin Horticulture – Spittlebugs

  2. Two-Lined Spittlebug: Biology and Management in Turfgrass

  3. Wisconsin Horticulture – Spittlebugs

  4. Pine Spittlebug

  5. Two-Lined Spittlebug: Biology and Management in Turfgrass

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Letter 1 – Froghoppers

 


I really enjoy identifying the bugs I rescue from the pool, and I always turn to your site first. You’ve done a great job. Here’s one I can’t seem to find anywhere. They are generally about 1/4" long with two yellow horizontal stripes crossing their wings. I’ve seen them jump/fly short distances when I take them out of the pool. I think they may be the same bugs that scatter when I cut areas of high grass in my yard. A friend tells me that they bite or sting, but I’ve not had a problem. They just don’t swim very well! Thanks for your time and keep up the good work.
Take care,
Len Seamon

Hi Len,
Thank you for the nice letter, and also your kind behavior to hapless victims that stumble or fly into your pool. Your photo, size and description suggest that you have a species of Froghopper, Family Cercopidae, but not one I am familiar with. They are related to Spittlebugs and are small hopping insects, rarely over 1/2 inch in length. They sometimes resemble tiny frogs in shape. Some have a characteristic color pattern. They feed on shrubs and herbaceous plants. Nymphs form a spittle which is a fluid voided from the anus. Air bubbles are introduced creating the frothy appearance. The insects have sucking mouthparts, and I have heard reports of people being bitten. The bite is not dangerous, just an annoyance.

Letter 2 – Dogwood Spittlebug

 

Subject:  Pool rescue
Geographic location of the bug:  Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Date: 06/19/2018
Time: 06:51 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I pulled this cheerful little critter out of my pool today (June 19). It spent 15 minutes cleaning the water off itself and another 15 crawling around on my hand since rescue. I would love to know what it is.
I have never had a pool before and I swear I spend as much time rescuing bugs and spiders, and watching them after, as I do swimming!
How you want your letter signed:  Stephanie in PA

Dogwood Spittlebug

Dear Stephanie,
Because of your bug rescue program, we are tagging this posting with the Bug Humanitarian Award.  This is a Dogwood Spittlebug,
Clastoptera proteus, which we identified on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “Common on dogwood and Vaccinium in the Midwest.”  Spittlebugs are so called because the nymphs secrete a frothy substance that acts as a refuge and the substance resembles spittle.

Dogwood Spittlebug

Letter 3 – Froghopper hops into brother’s ear

 

Subject: Bug from the Ear
Location: Florida
November 20, 2016 8:54 am
My Brother in Florida got this out of his ear after Bike riding!
Signature: JA

Froghopper
Froghopper

Dear JA,
This looks like a Froghopper or Spittlebug to us.  There are many brown species.  The name Spittlebug refers to the behavior of the nymphs which create a frothy mass resembling spittle while they are feeding on the fluids they suck from many plants and grasses.

 

Letter 4 – Froghopper from Guyana

 

Subject: Cicada from Guyana
Location: Guyana , Iwokrama
March 31, 2013 4:31 am
Hi,
I’d be very happy if you could identify this cicada for me. Found it in Guyana at Iwokrama River Lodge.
Thanks!
Signature: Karin

Hemipteran
Froghopper

Hi Karin,
We were out of the office when your identification request arrived and we are currently trying to catch up on all our unanswered mail.  It seems in our absence, we missed Maria Sibylla Merian’s 366th birthday that was noted on Google Doodle and picked up by all the major news outlets including the LA Times, Huffington Post and National GeographicWe did our own lecture on Maria Sibylla Merian at the Getty in 2008.  Since Guyana is next to Suriname, we thought it was appropriate to mention that here.  We don’t believe this is a true Cicada, but rather one of the other closely related Hemipteran families that are classified with Cicadas as free living Hemipterans.  Perhaps we can get a more definite identification at a later date.

Hemipteran
Froghopper

Karl Provides and ID
Hi Daniel and Karin:
Your bug is a Spittle Bug or Froghopper (Auchenorrhyncha: Cercopidae). I am fairly certain that the correct ID would Schistogonia simulans (perhaps = S. cercopoides). I could not find any easily accessible images or information online, but I was able to find it by browsing through an online (downloadable) version of the book “Cercopid Spittle Bugs of the New World (Hemiptera, Auchenorrhyncha, Cercopidae)” by Gervásio Silva Carvalho and Michael D. Webb (2005). Several other South American cercopids look similar; for comparison you could check out Laccogrypota praetor. Regards.  Karl

 

Letter 5 – Possibly Spitting Spider

 

Subject: Spider
Location: Mesa, AZ
March 28, 2015 12:09 am
Hello,
I found this spider in my apartment in AZ. Not sure what it is since I grew up in IL and don’t think I’ve seen this kind before. Any help would be appreciated! 🙂
Signature: Brittany

Possibly Spitting Spider
Possibly Spitting Spider

Dear Brittany,
We believe we have correctly identified your Spider, and if our identification is correct, this will represent a new category on our site.  This looks like a Spitting Spider in the family Scytodidae which we found on BugGuide, and where it states:  “Spitting spiders have 6 eyes and are slow moving. They are usually fairly easy to identify by their large round cephalothorax and their long, thin legs.”

Spitting Spider, we believe
Spitting Spider, we believe

Authors

    by
  • Bugman

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. whatsthatbug.com is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

  • Piyushi Dhir

    Piyushi is a nature lover, blogger and traveler at heart. She lives in beautiful Canada with her family. Piyushi is an animal lover and loves to write about all creatures.

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