Two Lined Spittlebug

Beneficial or Pest?
Hi,
I live in Round Rock, TX. Could you please tell me what this bug is? I love beneficials and just cannot seem to find a picture of it on the internet. I thought it might be some kind of Milkbug at first but, it is on everything in my garden from tomato to cucumber to melon to basil plants. It does not seem to be chewing or sucking on the leaves so I am thinking maybe it is a beneficial. Help! Thanks,
Jeffrey Bryant

Hi Jefffrey,
This is a Two Lined Spittlebug, Prosapia bicincta. The immature insects form a mass of foamy spittle that serves as a protection while the insect feeds by sucking the juices from plants. Your photo shows the winged adult. According to BugGuide: “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.”

8 thoughts on “Two Lined Spittlebug”

  1. These little guys have plagued my yard within the last week and fly inside every time my son opens the door (which seems like every 30 seconds)… I’ve been moving bugs outside nonstop.

    Southeast Georiga…

    Reply
  2. I have never in my life been bitten by these, and I have been around them all my life. When I was a child I played with them routinely. They’re harmless. If you’re getting bitten in bed at night, I guarantee you these aren’t the culprit. They’re diurnal, only active during the day, and they only feed on plants, not blood. If they are getting on you or your pets, it’s only because you walked past them in the grass, and they happened to land on you when they jumped.

    Check your mattress and under it for bedbugs, or it’s also possible you have mosquitoes in the house.

    Reply
  3. We have these is our yard. Our grass is cut to 1″ and we keep it free of debris, but they are every where. They flock to my dog and tear him up every time we go outside. He was breaking out in hives, and had hair falling out where ever they bit. He ended up being allergic to them. It was a HUGE vet bill.

    We just sprayed our yard with Cutter Backyard, so hopefully that takes care of it.

    Reply
  4. I have an infestation of them in my centipede grass . Didn’t realize they do bite until this year. They itch and swell up on me at the spots where bitten.

    Live in upper NE Georgia. We’ve had an over abundance of rain this year and all the horrific bugs are thriving….fleas, ticks and these spittlebugs. Cats seem to be affected also…and nothing seems to work. Trying diatomaceous powder and those plug in detourent things. Trying to save the bees and other useful bugs.

    Reply
  5. For anyone wondering about the potential for bites or disbelieve it…YES,THEY WILL BITE!!
    Pretty sure my bite happened only because I accidentally pinned the little [bleeeeeep] between my body and my underarm while closing the back door. Annnd of course the bug bit the. most. tender. area of an underarm.
    Omg! The bite pain was instantly
    an intense, searing pain- for 15 to 20 seconds- before fading as quickly as it began.
    Found a spittlebug at the back door- the only insect around.
    So yes, they bite.
    It can really HURT!!

    Reply

Leave a Comment