Marin Master Gardeners
University of California
Marin Master Gardeners

Don't Let Stink Bugs... Bug Your Vegetables

stink bug
Bagrada hilaris is an invasive stink bug that has rapidly spread from southern California since 2008. In 2013 they were found in Monterey county and they are moving north into the Bay area. It likes vegetable crops in the mustard family (Brassicaceae), such as cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, kale, turnip, and related cruciferous crops like radish and arugula. The bugs are black with orange and white markings. They also attack ornamentals such as alyssum, candytuft, nasturtiums, rockcress stock, and wallflower. Early detection is very important because they can build up quickly. So inspect new plants before planting, and monitor for bugs by shaking plants over a tray or sheet of white paper. This is also a recommended way to collect and dispose of the bugs. Stink bugs get their name from secreting a foul-smelling liquid that repels predators, such as birds. There are no known specific natural enemies in the US, and chemical control is difficult as Bragada bugs do not respond to the chemical lures in commercially available stink bug traps; heavily infested plants should be removed and destroyed.
stink bug damage

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