13 Jan Bronze Orange Bug
Description: A prolific pest over the warmer months also known as ‘Stink Bugs’. Eggs are laid under leaves and emerge as green, flat bodied juveniles which are easily overlooked from late-winter. In the more visible stages of their life-cycle they vary between a bronze-orange colour, through to a black fully-matured adult (pictured) which can be found in clusters on stems.
Damage Caused: These pests feed on the sap system of the plant and can disfigure new growth as well as cause both flower and fruit drop when feeding. The fowl-smelling liquid they expel to deter attackers can also scald the foliage as well as harm your eyes.
Green: Hand removal of these pests can be dangerous as they expel a fowl smelling liquid which can also be very harmful to your eyes (seek medical attention if affected). For this reason always wear eye protection when approaching an infested tree. Regular applications with a horticultural oil from late winter such as eco-oil will control the juvenile forms and reduce incidence of both this and other citrus pests come summer. Pyrethrum based sprays can be used as a ‘knock-down’ spray to clear established colonies, being sure not to spray whilst bees are foraging.
Orange: Only ornamental citrus should be treated with systemic insecticides such as Confidor® which penetrates into the plants system killing the pest as it feeds on it. They are highly efficient at killing these pests and last on average two weeks in the plants system. As they are systemic the spray does not have to make contact with the pest itself to work and insects can be killed in areas of the plant not reached by the spray (though thorough application is recommended) .
NB Care should be taken when spraying these above chemicals is they harm foraging bees. As a rule I only use these on plants that are not currently in flower to avoid the risk to bees that are so vital in the garden.
Red: Not required for this pest.