How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Lygus bugs—Lygus hesperus

Adult lygus bugs are green, straw yellow, or brown with a conspicuous yellow or pale green triangle on their backs. Nymphs are light green.

Identification of species | Life cycle

Damage

Lygus can move into gardens or orchards from weeds, especially when they dry up. They are a particular problem in beans, strawberries, and orchard crops, feeding on developing flower buds and fruit. Fruit may become blemished and discolored, deformed, or twisted and may develop depressions or pustules.

Solutions

The best strategy for managing lygus is to remove sources of infestation before damage is likely to occur on the crop. Remove weeds adjacent to the garden before the crop is planted or before susceptible fruit or buds appear on trees. Insecticides are not usually necessary or effective in the garden. Insecticidal soaps sprayed directly on nymphs will kill them. Natural enemies attack lygus but do not usually control them.

Lygus bug adult
Lygus bug adult
Distorted strawberry
Distorted strawberry
Damage to pear
Damage to pear

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California

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