Sunday, May 15, 2011

Feel Free to Squish Away!

They have probably been back for a week or so because it has been raining so much I haven't been scouting out in the herb garden.  The four-lined plant bugs are back for another season.  The Herbal Husband is just devastated to see them.  They are trouble, but I learned as a master gardener that a lot of bugs can only be managed especially if you do not want to spray toxic chemicals.  Lots of the organic solutions are just as toxic.  So it is better to just try and squish the nymphs and adults.  They are true bugs which means just two stages.  The nymphs are red and the adults are a yellow green color with four black lines.  Last season I even saw the nymphs morphing into the adults.  The good news is is there is only one generation a season and the damage will not kill your herbs only disfigure them.  The herbs put on new growth to cover over the damage.  I did a guest post about on The Herb Companion website.  Here is the link called Herbal Pests:  The Four-Lined Plant Bug.
This is damage on oregano.  The nymphs do not fly.  I was squishing nymphs yesterday.  They can be very quick as are the adults.  The adults fly and they are quick and drop to the ground if they feel under attack.  I just love to put on my Mud gloves and squish away.  The top photo shows the nymphs on sage.  They love members of the mint family, four-sided stemmed plants.  All your favorite herbs.  Click on the link above to get a partial list from my post last year.  The plants all survive the damage. I have never lost a plant to four-lined plant bug damage.  Hope if you have this insect your damage will be relatively light.  They should be gone by the end of June at least in western Pennsylvania.


Anonymous said...

Oh those bugs are hated in my garden! I have a new and vicious beetle - the lily beetle! Almost did in my martagon lilies (they crave!) and did a number on certain other lilies. I am fierce now, squishing away, as you say! It is satisfying. I leave the remains, in case a frog or snake likes "garden kill" as opposed to road kill!

PeggyR said...

Yuck! Not sure if I ever had them or not. Right now I'm outside in between rain drops and cold!

Pat said...

We have those little guys every season too. How dare they take away the beauty of our dear herbs!!
In between road trips right now and just discovered Blogger was down - lost all my comments. Hope to catch up with your postings.
Oh and I received my herbal order from Richter's...including 3 nice looking lemon verbena plants! Yeah!!!!

Lemon Verbena Lady said...

Yes, ladies, they are back and because it is wetter here, I hope they aren't worse this season! Get those gloves out and get squishing! Thanks for stopping by! P.S. I got two lemon verbenas myself, TO! I lost all three of mine, even the one indoors! Bad winter!

Anonymous said...

We are getting a lot of extra rain here as well and I hate these little bugs! I had not realized that organic based pesticides were as toxic as others. Thank you for the info!