Joyfirst
Green Thumb
Posts: 361
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:45 pm
Location: Southern California

Any tips for bagrada bug?

Our community garden here in West Los Angeles is infested with those bugs and they are chowing down all brassicas down in matter of days. I pulled out most of my kale (they seem to like black kale less, so I still kept that one for now), and thinking to do that with collards as well, if I won't find solution soon. My neighbor is making cayenne / garlic/soap solution to sprinkle around each plant each time after watering, and it seems to help, but that is very labor intensive to do.
Any advice?

User avatar
Wombat
Full Member
Posts: 39
Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2014 3:16 am
Location: Australia

Re: Any tips for bagrada bug?

I found this info on another site I frequent, hope it helps you out........ :)

" I experimented by capturing about 20 bagrada bugs and using a mixture of Kirkland's Environmentally Safe Dish Soap and water. In just a few minutes after the B-Bug comes into contact with the soap they perish. And no I didn't drown them.
I mixed 1/2 a cup of Kirkland ESDS with 2 gallons of water into a hand pump garden sprayer and wiped them all out. I let the soapy mixture sit on the plant for twenty minutes...and I was thorough. I started spraying the area around my Arugula patch first. I was trying to contain them. They are fast runners and in the beginning they did try to cross my yard. So it pays to encircle them. Give them a good soaking. I removed all the Arugula and placed them into a large black trash bag, giving them even more soap for good measure. I was able to actually see the Bagrada young trying to retreat too. I hope this will do it. I'd love to hear from others how they are dealing with this bug. Good luck". Bagrada bugs often infest wild mustard weeds, which are pervasive in California on hillsides and in agricultural corridors in late winter to early spring. Populations rapidly increase in the weeds when seasonal temperatures rise. Record numbers of bugs can invade newly planted crops after mustard weeds dry out in late summer.
My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it...

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Any tips for bagrada bug?

Good info, wombat.

I wasn't familiar with this particular pest, so I looked it up and found out why - so far in this country this bug is only in So Cal and southern AZ. It looks like it is another one of the benefits of globalization, a recent import from warm places like Africa and southern Europe. It does particularly prey on brassicas.

https://cisr.ucr.edu/bagrada_bug.html


"Bagrada bugs may not be readily observed until damage has begun, so look carefully for fresh feeding damage (light green starburst lesions), which may be easier to spot than the insects themselves at early stages of infestation. Home gardeners and landscapers should carefully inspect their plants and shipping containers prior to planting. A good time to inspect is right after watering when pests hiding in the space between the potting mix and the sides of the container may be flushed out and more easily detected.

When the bugs are common on plants, they may be monitored by beating or shaking plants over a tray or a sheet of paper. More frequent scouting may be necessary when temperatures rise above 75°F. Bagrada bugs tend to be most active and visible during the warmer parts of the day; therefore, monitoring should occur at those times. When temperatures are low or on cloudy days, these bugs may hide on the undersides of leaves, around stem bases, or in soil cracks and crevices.

.....

In gardens where the Bagrada bug is present in very high densities, it may be advisable to remove very attractive host plants such as sweet alyssum (Lobularia maritima) and replace them with plants not in the mustard family. Sweet alyssum can attract bugs into the garden and also serve as a source of infestation for other plants in the garden or landscape.

Picking the bugs off plants by hand is only feasible if pest populations are very low. When infestations are heavy, it may be possible to vacuum the bugs with a portable vacuum cleaner. It is often easier to tap the plant onto a sheet and collect/vacuum the bugs rather than removing them individually.

Although spiders and other general predators may feed on the Bagrada bug, it does not have specific natural enemies in the United States. [This is generally why all these imports are so invasive.] Unlike the harlequin bug, which it strongly resembles, the Bagrada bug often lays eggs in the soil, which would render egg parasitoids, such as wasps, ineffective.

There is little information on the effectiveness of pesticides that can be used against the Bagrada bug in home gardens. Generally, stink bugs [to which these are closely related] are difficult to manage with insecticides; and repeat applications are often necessary. The adult bugs usually escape injury by flying away before they contact the insecticide only to return later. "

https://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn74166.html

The only positive suggestion they make is growing things under row cover, tightly fastened down and put in place before the bugs show up, so that you aren't trapping them under the cover with your plants. Even this sounds a little iffy, since the eggs can be in the soil.

Sounds like a really nasty pest. I'm thinking that the hand vacuum is going to become a necessary gardening tool!
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

User avatar
Wombat
Full Member
Posts: 39
Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2014 3:16 am
Location: Australia

Re: Any tips for bagrada bug?

Interesting facts there Rainbow, I'd never heard of them either.......the name rang a bell and I managed to find the site. Hope we never get them here either!
My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it...

Joyfirst
Green Thumb
Posts: 361
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:45 pm
Location: Southern California

Re: Any tips for bagrada bug?

Thank you. I will try soap. Now they are also in my son's school garden :shock:
I squash them, when I see them, but they fly well, and leave and come as they please.

User avatar
ElizabethB
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2109
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2012 5:53 am
Location: Lafayette, LA

Re: Any tips for bagrada bug?

I found much of the same information as RBG. Apparently there really isn't much information on organic control. It can't hurt to try Wombat's recipe.

Keep them in SoCal. We already have enough problems with invasive species in south Louisiana.

Good luck
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11435
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Any tips for bagrada bug?

Interesting. I never heard of them either. I think California is becoming the typhoid Mary State of bugs. Unfortunately since Hawaii protects outgoing products more than incoming, and we have gotten a lot of bugs brought in from California from food shipments we will probably get them sooner or later. As if we haven't acquired enough alien species.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

User avatar
ElizabethB
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2109
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2012 5:53 am
Location: Lafayette, LA

Re: Any tips for bagrada bug?

Imafan LMFAO
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

urbanfruit
Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2015 6:10 pm

Re: Any tips for bagrada bug?

I am in Los Angeles as well and dealing with the Bagrada problem. Recently I met Ron Whitehurst, he offers biological solutions for pest menagement and asked him about it. He recommended planting a plant that the Bagrada REALLY likes (apparently their favorite is Bok Choy) as a trap crop. When they all gathere on this plant, vacuum them off, but them in a blender, mix them with water and and biodegradable soap and spray that concoction on the plants you want to protect. They are stink bugs, that's why nothing eats them and the above method gives them a taste of their own medicine. Can't wait to try it, because I am tired of covering all the brassicas with gauze.

Return to “Organic Insect and Plant Disease Control”