Alfalfa hay-Meadow spittlebug

Philaenus spumarius

Pest description and crop damage Nymphs are recognized by the frothy spittle mass that they excrete over their bodies. Meadow spittlebug can stunt plant growth and kill young plants. Chemical control usually is not warranted. For additional information, see: http://extension.cropsci.illinois.edu/fieldcrops/alfalfa/meadow_spittlebug/

Management-chemical control

These insects are very difficult to control because most insecticides cannot penetrate their spittle mass. The following insecticides are hazardous to bees and should not be used if bees are foraging in the alfalfa.

  • alpha-cypermethrin (Fastac EC) at 0.014 to 0.025 lb ai/a. PHI 3 days of cutting or grazing. REI 12 hr. Retreatment interval 7 days. Do not exceed 0.075 lb ai/a per season.
  • beta-cyfluthrin (Baythroid XL) at 0.0065 to 0.0125 lb ai/a. PHI 7 days for grazing or cutting. REI 12 hr. Retreatment interval 5 days. Do not exceed 0.044 lb ai/a per cutting or 0.175 lb ai/a total per season. (Group 3A)
  • chlorantraniliprole/lambda-cyhalothrin (Besiege) at 0.059 to 0.088 lb ai/a. PHI 1 day for forage and 7 days for hay. REI 24 hr. Minimum of 5 days between applications. Do not exceed 0.12 lb ai of products containing lambda-cyhalothrin or 0.2 lb ai of chlorantraniliprole-containing foliar products per acre per growing season. Refer to product labels for application limits if products containing gamma-cyhalothrin and products containing lambda-cyhalothrin are to be used in the same season. (Group 28 and 3A)
  • chlorpyrifos (numerous products) at 0.5 to 1 lb ai/a. PHI for grazing or cutting is 7 days at 0.25 lb ai/a or 14 days at 0.5 lb ai/a or 21 days for rates above 0.5 lb ai/a. REI 24 hr. Do not apply any chlorpyrifos products more than four times per season or more than once per cutting. Do not reapply within 10 days of the first application. Certain products can be chemigated by sprinkler irrigation. Minor phytotoxicity is possible on new growth. (Group 1B)
  • chlorpyrifos/gamma cyhalothrin (Cobalt) at 0.38 to 0.76 lb ai/a. PHI 14 to 21 days. REI 1 day. Do not apply Cobalt nor any other product containing chlorpyrifos more than once per cutting nor more than 4 times per season. Refer to product labels for application limits if products containing gamma-cyhalothrin and products containing lambda-cyhalothrin are to be used in the same season. (Group 1B and 3A)
  • cyfluthrin (Tombstone) at 0.013 to 0.025 lb ai/a. PHI 7 days for grazing or cutting. REI 12 hr. Do not exceed 0.088 lb ai/a per cutting or 0.35 lb ai/a total per season. (Group 3A)
  • gamma-cyhalothrin (Declare) at 0.01 to 0.015 lb ai/a. PHI 1 day for forage harvest or 7 days for hay harvest. REI 24 hr. Do not exceed 0.015 lb ai/a per cutting or 0.06 lb ai/a per season. Refer to product labels for application limits if products containing gamma-cyhalothrin and products containing lambda-cyhalothrin are to be used in the same season. (Group 3A)
  • lambda-cyhalothrin (Warrior II) at 0.02 to 0.03 lb ai/a. PHI 1 day for forage harvest or 7 days for hay harvest. REI 24 hr. Apply only to pure stands. Do not apply when bees are actively foraging. Do not exceed 0.03 lb ai/a per cutting or 0.12 lb ai/a per season. Refer to product labels for application limits if products containing gamma-cyhalothrin and products containing lambda-cyhalothrin are to be used in the same season. (Group 3A)
  • malathion (numerous products) at 1 to 1.25 lb ai/a. PHI 0 days. REI 12 hr. Not effective below 65°F. Retreatment interval 14 days. Limit to 2 applications per cutting. (Group 1B)
  • permethrin (numerous products) at 0.1 to 0.2 lb ai/a. PHI 0 days at 0.1 lb ai/a or less, 14 days at more than 0.1 lb ai/a. REI 12 hr. Do not exceed 0.2 lb ai/a per cutting. Retreatment interval 30 days. (Group 3A)
  • phosmet (Imidan 70-W) at 0.7 to 1 lb ai/a. PHI 7 days for grazing or cutting. REI 5 days. Do not apply more than once per cutting. Do not apply during bloom. Do not use latex- or pineolene-based adjuvants. (Group 1B)
  • zeta-cypermethrin (Group 3A) Mustang at 0.028 to 0.05 lb ai/a, or Mustang Max EC or Mustang Maxx at 0.014 to 0.025 lb ai/a. PHI 3 days for cutting or grazing, 7 days for harvesting seed. REI 12 hr. Retreatment interval 7 days. Do not use more than 0.05 lb ai/a per cutting or more than 0.15 lb ai/a per season (Mustang) or 0.025 lb ai/a per cutting or 0.075 lb ai/a per season (Mustang Max, Mustang Maxx). (Group 3A)