AUSTIN, Texas — You've likely noticed the sticky stuff covering your car recently. Well, it's not sap coming from trees.
It's actually a sugary liquid known as "honeydew," according to a report by KUT. The honeydew is secreted by aphids, which are sap-eating insects that live in trees.
In short, it's bug poop.
But why is it prevalent this year? The aphid population boomed this year and it has had fewer predators this year because of the historic drought Austin has experienced, per the report.
Those who were in Austin back in 2011 for the driest year on record might remember that honeydew was also prevalent that year.
If you want to get rid of the aphids secreting honeydew, you can spray trees down with water, KUT reported, or you can wait for rain to do the job for you. A quick rinse will get the secretion off your car.
City of Austin forester Keith Babberney told KUT that treating trees with chemicals should be a last resort, as it could damage the whole ecosystem, not just the pesky aphids.
The good thing is the poop doesn't damage the cars or decks it covers. Axios Austin reported the honeydew could lead to sooty mold fungus growing on top, which could lead to slower tree growth if the dew covers tree leaves.
Babberney added that the predator insect population might bounce back from the drought toward the end of the summer as milder weather moves in.
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