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How to identify Lygus bugs in your garden

Spotting Lygus Bugs in Your Garden: A Simple Guide

Lygus bugs, also known as tarnished plant bugs, are common pests that can cause significant damage to your garden plants. Identifying these bugs early on is crucial to prevent their spread and minimize the damage they cause. In this article, we will guide you through the step-by-step process of identifying Lygus bugs in your garden.

Step 1: Look for physical characteristics
Lygus bugs are small, oval-shaped insects that are about 1/4 inch long. They have a distinctive coloration, which includes a brownish-yellow body with a black and white pattern on their wings. They also have a distinctive triangular-shaped head with a long, thin beak.

Step 2: Inspect your plants
Lygus bugs are known to feed on a wide variety of plants, including fruits, vegetables, and ornamental plants. Inspect your plants for any signs of damage, such as distorted or discolored leaves or fruits. Look for small, round holes in the leaves or fruits, which are a tell-tale sign of Lygus bug feeding.

Step 3: Check for eggs
Lygus bugs lay their eggs on the underside of leaves, usually in groups of 12-20. Look for small, yellowish-white eggs that are about 1/25 inch in diameter. These eggs are often laid in a circular pattern and can be easily missed if you're not looking closely.

Step 4: Observe their behavior
Lygus bugs are active during the day and can often be seen moving around on plants. They are also known to fly short distances when disturbed. Watch for their movement and behavior to confirm their presence.

Step 5: Use a beating tray
If you suspect that Lygus bugs are present in your garden but can't see them, you can use a beating tray to dislodge them from the plants. Hold a white tray or sheet of paper under the plant and gently tap the stem or branches. The bugs will fall onto the tray, making it easier to identify them.

In conclusion, identifying Lygus bugs in your garden requires a keen eye and attention to detail. By following these steps, you'll be able to spot these pests early on and take the necessary steps to prevent their spread and minimize the damage they cause.

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