I discovered a new bug while pulling weeds under one of my apricot trees this morning.
It is 1/4" long, somewhat flattened, and it has a distinct light green triangle on its back. After a little research, I learned that it is called a Lygus bug.
According to UC Davis, Lygus bugs (Lygus hesperus), also known as western tarnished plant bugs, or just plain tarnished plant bugs, are a serious threat to strawberry growers, causing "irregularly shaped, cat-faced strawberries". Getting rid of Lygus bugs is tricky. Most pesticides available over-the-counter are ineffective on adult Lygus bugs and can be devastating to natural enemies of spider mites.
The best organic solution is to reduce the number of weeds in your area and to be alert, squashing the Lygus bug whenever it is spotted. There is a commercially available parasitic wasp, Anaphes iole, which attacks lygus eggs, but its effectiveness is thwarted by the fact that new Lygus bugs can enter the area repeatedly.
New research in the use of trap crops is being explored. I’ll keep you posted!
It's a war zone out there!
You can grow a surprising amount of food in your own yard. Ask me how!
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