Spittle- mass (a foamy liquid formed by the introduction of air into the watery excretion) is the most obvious evidence of feeding by nymphs on the plant. Female insect lays eggs in the soil near the host plants. After the eggs are hatched, nymphs begin to feed gregariously on roots and stems close to the soil surface. Both nymphs and adults suck on the sap and destroy the plants. The feeding by both nymphs and adults harm and debilitate the plants by sucking on them and injecting a toxin that blocks or prevents the circulation of the sap.
The Demerara froghopper, also known as spittlebug (Depois flavopicta) is an insect that causes damage to several crops, among others rice and maize. Females lay eggs in the soil, close to the host plants. After hatching, the nymphs start to feed gregariously on roots and stems close to the soil surface. They form a "spittle mass", which is a white foamy liquid formed by the introduction of air bubbles into their own secretions. A spittle mass is an evidence of feeding by nymphs on the plant at that location. The presence of susceptible grasses in or around the fields (species of Brachiaria or Axonopus) can increase populations. They are attracted to these plants and use them as alternative host to support their life cycles.
Time available for hatching is significantly reduced with decreases in overnight temperature and the prolonged exposure of eggs to cold temperatures. This early hatching can reduce the populations of this insect.
Always consider an integrated pest control program with preventive measures and biological treatments if available. Crop seeds could be treated with systematic insecticides to prevent the attack by Depois flavopicta.