Since the onset of warmer weather, people have started reporting the strange substance on their garden plants, with the scum clumping on plant stems or in a patch of grass
Image: Yorkshire Live)
An unusual scum spotted in gardens has warned households during the summer months.
Since the warmer weather began, people have started spotting the strange substance on their garden plants.
The foam can often be seen clumped on plant stems or in a patch of grass and typically looks like a ball of foam.
Anyone who sees it is urged to report it as it can be potentially harmful.
The warning has come as the suds could be linked to the spread of a deadly plant disease that can harm native species, reports say live in yorkshire.
The saliva, as it’s known, is made by an insect called the spit bug, which produces the unusual substance that then remains on plants and in tall grass.
The spit beetle wraps itself in a ball of foam for protection while sucking the sap of a plant for sustenance. The offspring of the red and black creatures, also called froghoppers, then hatch on a plant containing the leftover foam ball.
The insect is usually active from late May to late June, so this is the peak season for sightings right now.
Although the insects feed on the plants, they don’t remove enough food to harm them and they don’t hurt humans, so you don’t have to do anything to get rid of the saliva.
However, scientists fear that a deadly plant disease called Xyella could be spread between plants by the spitting bug.
Xyella disease has devastated olive groves in Italy in recent years, and experts have dubbed Xyella one of the world’s most dangerous pathogens.
If found in the UK, all plants within a 100m radius would need to be destroyed, with a 5km plant quarantine for up to five years thereafter, as the disease could wipe out native plant species in the UK.
Because the spit bug is a potential vector of the disease, scientists are asking people to report any sightings of the foam so any outbreaks that do occur can be linked to their causes and tracked down.
A spokesperson for the Spittlebug survey said: “Please let us know if you find either saliva, nymphs (juveniles) or adults of the xylem-eating insects (salivary bugs / f sea cicadas and some leafhoppers) which have the potential to act as vectors of the Bacteria.
“These records will help us get a picture of where the beetles are found, what plants they feed on and how much they move.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/urgent-warning-over-harmful-froth-27226921 Urgent warning of 'harmful' foam appearing in UK gardens this summer