7 Things You Need To Know About The Bagrada Bug
Bagrada bug (Bagrada hilaris), a species of stink bug also known as “painted bug,” is a major concern on vegetables, especially on Brassica crops such as broccoli, cauliflower, and turnip.
Stink bugs are one of the most important pests worldwide and have caused economic losses to several agricultural crops. The name “stink bug” originates from the offensive odor the bugs discharge from the glands located in the base of the last pair of legs when disturbed. Stink bugs have a straw-like mouthpart which houses four needles.
The bagrada bug, in particular, is native to Southern Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, and was accidentally introduced to Southern California. It is now established in Southwestern states in the U.S. This pest has some unique features, which separate it from other stink bug species.
The bagrada bug arranges and rearranges the four needles in its mouthpart to inject saliva into the plant material, partially digesting it, and sucking the digested juice causing injury to plant cells.
This feeding injury affects normal development of the surrounding cells resulting in deformed fruits and plants. Often, the pest feeds on the most nutritious parts of the plant such as the seeds. The injured seeds then abort the fruit development.
Want to keep bagrada bug at bay? Click on the next page to read seven pointers to help you keep this pest from taking over your fields.