Anyone with a citrus will be familiar with these orange/bronze bugs. These bugs suck the sap from stalks causing fruit and flowers to drop. They also produce a foul smelling secretion when disturbed.
Eggs can be found on the undersides of leaves with the young, known as nymphs appearing in winter. The nymphs are approximately 6mm long, flat and lime green in colour.
Maturing bugs turn orange or bronze and become rounded finally turning brown to black and 25mm long when reaching adulthood.
Winter is the best time to get on top of these bugs as during summer the numbers often increase dramatically.
As these bronze orange bugs expel a caustic liquid, it is suggested to wear goggles and gloves as the liquid can cause severe irritation. For small infestations in trees, remove them with a jet of water or shaking and collect in a bag or bucket and squash.
Larger infestations should be sprayed every 10-14 days with Eco-Oil or Confidor to kill the nymphs before they develop into breeding adults.
A sign your tree is stressed is a high population of these bugs. Provide a deep watering and a citrus fertiliser to strengthen your citrus.
Contact Eastern Suburbs Horticulture on 0413 328 334 for a horticultural consultation or treatment of pests.