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Capsid bugs

Symptoms

The uppermost leaves on plants have small, brown-ringed holes, while flower buds might never open, or do so unevenly.

Find it on: a wide range of plants, including chrysanthemums, dahlias, fuchsias, apples, beans and potatoes
Time to act: spring, summer

Overview

Capsid bugs are sap-feeding pests. The 6mm-long adults vary in colour from green to red-brown, depending on the species. Look for the distinctive diamond shape when their wings are folded. When they feed, they release a toxic saliva that kills off tiny areas of leaf tissue, causing dead, brown patches. As the leaf grows, these areas tear causing a multitude of small holes. On apples, they leave raised bumps and scabby patches.


Solution

The uppermost leaves on plants have small, brown-ringed holes, while flower buds might never open, or do so unevenly.

Organic

When disturbed, the bugs quickly drop to the ground or fly away, so you'll have to be quick if you want to catch and squish them. Remove their hiding places by keeping the area under plants free of debris, thus exposing the bugs to predators. But they're not all bad, as some capsid bugs feed on small pests.




Discuss this problem

Talkback: Capsid bugs
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paterdale 24/11/2011 at 15:27

i have brought some strawberrys and they have flowers on i just wanted to no how long before they have fruit

ajudge 24/11/2011 at 15:28

I followed the link 'how to keep capsid bugs away from your beans' but this article is only general advice, not related to beans at all. Also, no pictures of the insect or indication of how to identify beneficial species. Definitely not up to your usual standards!!

blossomup 24/11/2011 at 15:29

the ancient grape vine on my plot seems to have these sorts of holes in the leaves. I only got the plot in March and am unfamiliar with grape vines. I cannot use anything non biological as its a farm plot ( with live stock ) so not sure what to do.
Any ideas anyone?