How to identify stink bugs
Before we get into control methods, it's crucial to know your enemy. Stink bugs, also known as bronze orange bugs and shield bugs, are shield-shaped insects that come in a range of colours from green to brown. They emit a distinctive, unpleasant odor when threatened, hence their name.
Why do stink bugs love citrus?
Stink bugs are attracted to the sweet, juicy goodness of citrus fruit. They pierce the fruit's skin and feed on the juices, leaving behind unsightly scars and damage. This can be especially frustrating for those hoping to enjoy a bountiful citrus harvest.
How to prevent stink bugs on citrus
To keep stink bugs at bay, a few preventive measures can assist.
- Regularly inspect your citrus trees for signs of stink bug activity and remove any showing signs of activity.
- Use fine mesh or row covers to protect your trees from pests.
- Remove any fallen fruit and plant debris which can provide hiding spots for stink bugs.
Natural remedies for stinkbugs
For those who prefer eco-friendly solutions, some more natural ways to deter stink bugs exist.
Companion plants like marigolds, basil, and tansy can help repel the pesky bugs if planted under citrus trees. Otherwise, you can encourage beneficial insects like ladybugs and parasitic wasps, which are natural predators.
If they become a severe problem, you may need to resort to chemical control methods. Find a pesticide suitable for citrus trees like Yates Ready to Use Nature's Way Citrus and Ornamental Spray. Consult a local pest control expert for advice on safe and effective pesticides.
When it's time to pick your fruit, do it promptly and carefully to avoid attracting bugs or causing contamination. Check your fruit for signs of damage as you pick them, and remove any affected fruits.
Make sure to follow these tips to keep your citrus tree of stink bugs.
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