AVID gardeners are urged to be on the lookout for a mysterious scum on their plants as it could be potentially harmful.
When the sun finally hits the UK and Brits are set to enjoy a blinding heatwave, most of us are looking outside to the garden.
But the warm weather doesn’t mean you can just sit back and relax – gardeners across the UK are being warned to keep their eyes peeled for a mystery suds, Yorkshire Live reported.
Typically clumped on plant stems or in a patch of grass, this substance looks like a ball of suds or foam and could even be described as someone who spat on your plants.
So what is it and is the foam harmful?
The answer is – possibly.
Because the white foam could be linked to the spread of an invasive plant disease that can harm native species, people are urged to report any sightings of it.
Known as saliva, this foam is produced by an insect called the spit bug.
The beetle wraps itself in a ball of foam for protection while sucking up a plant’s sap for nourishment, a gardener explained on TikTok.
These insects, which are usually active from late May to late June, do not remove enough food to kill the plant, and more importantly, they do not harm humans.
So what is the harmful thing and why should you report it?
Scientists fear that a deadly plant disease called Xyella could be spread between plants by the vector spitting bug.
FABULOUS BINGO: Get a £20 Bonus and 30 Free Spins when you spend £10 today
In recent years, the disease has devastated olive groves in Italy, and experts have even dubbed Xyella one of the most dangerous pathogens in the world.
If found here in the UK all plants within a 100m radius would have to be destroyed with a 5km plant quarantine for up to five years afterwards as the deadly disease could wipe out native British plant species.
A spokesperson for the Spittlebug survey said: “Please let us know if you see spit, nymphs (juveniles) or adults of the xylem-eating insects (saliva bugs/froghoppers and some leafhoppers) that have the potential to act as vectors of the bacteria.” act .
“These records will help us get a picture of where the beetles are found, what plants they feed on and how much they move. This information will be critical in deciding how best to respond Xylella Bacteria arrive in the UK.”
You can report a sighting here.
Gardening tips and hacks
Expert garden advice
https://www.the-sun.com/lifestyle/5571374/gardening-foam-plants-deadly-disease/ I’m a gardening professional and you must be on the lookout for a mysterious scum on your plants – it could be causing HUGE problems