Capsid bugs

Time to act:

Jun, Jul, Aug, Mar, Apr, May

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.

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

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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.

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