Wednesday is Bug Day

Leaffooted Bug

I went out to the garden this morning to check on the bugs that I might need to take care of and of course I was hit in the head by a leaffooted bug.  It’s a type of beetle that makes me so mad.  They are hard to control organically.  I’ll give you some Ideas and if anyone out there wants to share other methods to control these little beasts please help out.

DSC_0488
DSC_0495The picture on the left is the adult and the one on the right are the nymphs.
Some Facts:

  • Leaffooted bugs are a member of the stink bug family
  • They are about 3/4″ long and there are several kinds depending on which part of the country you are in.  They range from almost black to light brown.
  • They feed on fruit (including tomatoes), seed and nut crops
  • They have needle like mouth parts they use to poke a hole then they suck the sap or juice out of the plant opening it up to other insects and disease.
  • They are known to carry fungus from plant to plant.
  • They are challenging to control.
  • Birds and spiders are important predators of leaffooted and stink bugs.
  • Controlling weeds around your garden helps to reduce their populations.
  • They are attracted to sunflowers so you can lure them away from your garden and smash or drop in soapy water.
  • There are also beneficial insects that feed on them.  These include wheel bugs, assassin bugs and predatory stink bugs.

Organic pesticides include, wood ash and Surround WP (Kaolin clay).  Both these products coat the plants with a fine white dust which discourages the bugs from feeding.

Conventional insecticides containing synthectic pyrethroids can be sprayed every 14 days (includes products containing permethrin, bifenthin, or cyfluthrin).  Make sure you read and follow the labels on all pesticides and never use more than is recommended.  It can harm your plants and the environment.

Since I try to stay on the organic side, I smash them or collect and drop the adults in soapy water.  The nymphs I just smash.