Yesterday as I was perusing the demo garden outside the office for insects (it’s how I take a break…) when I came across a plethora of stink bugs. There were adults. There were nymphs. There were even eggs! I took photos and planned on using them for some future endeavor at the time unknown to me when…..
….today seems to be the time for the photos. I received an email this morning asking what the bug was that I had discovered in such high numbers yesterday. I am assuming that since I’m now getting emails, it means that they are not only in East Austin, but in many other places as well. Head out to your gardens and take a look to see if you can find stink bugs!
The stink bugs I found are in the genus Chlorochroa. They can be from 8-19 mm (1/4-3/4″) and can range in color from green to brown to black. Around the edge of the body there is a white to yellow to reddish-orange stripe. Nymphs and adults feed on plants.
If you have these critters, you can try one of my favorite ways to manage stink bugs….the vacuum. You don’t want to use your regular, household vacuum, but have one specifically for the garden. I find that cordless, hand-held models are quick to grab and easy to use in the garden. Don’t buy a top of the line model with a lot of suction as they will also suck up a good bit of your plants. Another option is to hand pick and dump the bugs into a bucket of soapy water. If you find eggs, then either pluck off the leaf and throw it away or squish the eggs.
If you’re not into vacuuming or hand picking, then you can try pesticides with active ingredients such as azadirachtin (neem), pyrethrins, lambda-cyhalothrin, beta-cyfluthrin, or imidacloprid. If you have nymphs, you can try using an insecticidal soap.