A Spittlebug in the Lovage Plant (Philaenus spumarius)

We’ve all seen this – it looks like white frothy spit on the plant’s stem. Within that bubbly saliva-like mass there is a bug, or rather an immature nymph feeding on the plant juice. It is appropriately called the Spittlebug.

Lovage plant with Spittlebug

Lovage plant with Spittlebug froth

We were doing the first harvest of our lovage plants when we noticed few of them were “under attack” by these bugs. Lovage is one of our favorite herbs, it is great in soups and adds a distinct flavor somewhat similar to celery leaves. It grows easily and abundantly and we harvest it 2 or 3 times per summer in our backyard. Here is what this little guy looks like when it comes out of its hiding bubbles:

Spittlebug - Philaenus spumarius

Spittlebug - Philaenus spumarius

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