Insects

Plant Bugs

(Tarnished, Four Lined, Scentless...)

Plant Bugs
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This extremely agile insect owes its name to its mottled brown coloring. A true bug, it has a shield-shaped body with a triangular arrangement of white spots on the thorax. The long-legged, adults have a black-tipped yellow triangle at the end of each fore-wing; the nymphs are pale yellow. Both adults and nymphs suck sap from buds, fruits, and stems.

Target: Most fruits and vegetables.

Damage: Shoots are blackened; plant parts are deformed.

Life cycle: Nymphs hatch from elongated, curved eggs inserted into host plants. Adults as well as nymphs can overwinter in garden debris. There are three to five generations a year.

Notes: Getting rid of debris eliminates breeding spots. Tarnished plant bugs will migrate from recently cut hay or weeds to other areas, so be prepared to treat susceptible crops if your neighbors are planning to mow.