Advice For Gardeners On The Cuckoo Spit

Cuckoo spit on plant

Cuckoo spit on plants can disfigure them

What is a cuckoo spit

It is the nymph for a type of frog hopper that drinks the sap of the plants that it lives on to survive.  More Information

The by product of this drinking is a white frothy spit, that covers the insect and stops it from drying out.  The froth also acts as a protection to the insect.

At what time of year can the cuckoo spit be found

The Cuckoo Spit is a very common sight in the UK, mainly in the spring and summer months.

but by the autumn all that is left is the eggs, these will hatch out the following spring.

It can be found on a whole variety of flowers and vegetables.

One method of removing the cuckoo spit is to simply use a hose and wash them off.

If you want to get really serious in eradicating the insect, using a broad spectrum insecticide should do the trick, but will not always be fully effective due to the protection of the froth around the insect.

Issues with vegetable hygiene due to the cuckoo spit

If you are growing vegetables, a few cuckoo spit’s doesn’t usually pose any health issues.

The main issue’s can be a dis-figuration of the leaves on or around the spit, this may simply make the produce a bit unsightly, so if this is a problem, then these effected produce can easily be deposed off.

Usually this is not a major concern as normally only a small part of a plant may be effected, and as explained can easily be rectified by either using a garden hose, or manually removing each one by hand.

In times of drought however the presence of the spit could cause the plant to get dehydrated faster than if no spits were present, again if your plants are kept well watered this wont pose to much of a problem.

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  1. Hi ,

    I am working on The Seven O Clock Show & we’ll be talking about the cuckoo spit on tomorrow’s show with Éanna Ní Lamhna.

    We would like to get permission to use some of your photographs for editorial use on the show if possible. We would use a courtesy strap to direct people to your site if you’d like.

    Let us know as soon as you can.

    Thank you,
    Helena Mullins

    • Ray Burman says:


      After quite a few months of not accessing / editing the Cuckoo spit website for personal reasons, I was both surprised and disappointed to have read your email.
      I am very sorry that I missed the opportunity to support the Seven O Clock show and would have loved you to use my pictures for editorial.

      I hope that there will be another great opportunity like this in the future.


      Ray Burman

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