My salvia uliginosa is getting very deformed leaves from spittle bugs. I have been hand picking and squishing but I wondered if my salvia will recover after spittle bug season?
They like several other uncharacteristic plants this year too, including white sage, salvia apiana?? and some sedums and succulents like oscularia??? This is the first year I have been more aggressive about eradicating them (by hand) since they are just more present than years past. Does anyone know if hand picking now will prevent them from laying eggs in the Fall eventually eradicating them all together? If not, what would be the best natural way to get rid of them?
Any help would be truly appreciated, thanks,
Are you sure it's the spittle bugs that are causing the problem? I get them on various plants of mine every year and never really see any damage so I wonder if you don't have something else going on too. If you've got a really bad infestation then they could cause deformed leaves but I've never had enough of them to cause any problems. If I happen to be out watering and notice them I'll usually hose them off, but that's the only thing I've ever done to control them. I doubt if you'll be able to 100% eliminate them and keep them from coming back next year (there will always be plenty of adults around in other people's yards) but if you go out every few days and hit them with the hose you should be able to knock the population down.
Wow...I've never had any kinds of bugs on my S. uliginosa , it has for me at least been one of the easiest Salvia's of all. They only time it complains is if we go for weeks on end without rain. A good drink from the hose makes it happy. And if you should by change get a really wet spell, it's is doubly happy .! But I agree with ecrane...give it a good bath, I take a bucket and add a bit of dish soap, and take a sponge and sponge the water on the spittle bugs...let it sit a minute and rinse off...usually takes care of most critters.
I am pretty sure it's the spittle bugs since there really were quite a lot of them, and more importantly the bugs were feeding right at the growth spots of the curling leaves. My uliginosa is fairly new, planted in the Fall, only 2.5 ft. high at the most, maybe that has something to do with it.
I have also had problems with mites on other plants, could it be mites?
Mites do more damage than spittlebugs so I'd definitely check for them. A bad spittlebug infestation could cause those symptoms since they do suck on plant juices, but I have them on quite a few plants every year and have never seen any problems with the plants as a result so my gut feeling would be that there's probably another culprit. It's worth at least checking--the spittlebugs will disappear on their own after a while, but mites will stick around and get worse unless you do something about them so it's better to catch them as soon as you can.