Leaf footed bugs

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Identification

  • Colour Brown, yellow, orange, black
  • Size Up to 20 mm long
  • Description Have small, leaf-like enlargements on their hind legs and five crisscross black patches on their abdomen.

How to identify Leaf footed bugs

Growing as large as 20 mm in length, most leaf-footed bugs appear brown in colour. The upper abdomen appears yellow or light orange and includes five crisscross black patches, which are generally revealed when the insect takes flight. Adults resemble bumble bees while flying due to their similar flight patterns and the loud buzz produced by both types of insects. Nymphs appear orange but slowly change to the colour of the adults after several moults.

Signs of an infestation

The most common sign of a leaf-footed bug infestation is the sight of the insects during their attempts at overwintering. As leaf-footed bugs amass in large numbers, finding them on walls, windows, and in barns and other manmade structures is highly possible. Farmers, gardeners, and nursery attendants may notice shrivelled, deformed, or shrunken seeds where the insects feed. The pests can also affect different crops depending on how early the feeding occurs in the plant’s growth, leading to severe deformities and dead leaves.

Leaf footed bugs Removal

When leaf-footed bugs appear inside the home, use a vacuum to sweep them up. If the infestation becomes too large to handle, contacting a pest control professional may prove necessary. Trained pest control specialists know how to eliminate leaf-footed bugs completely and can also set up integrated pest management plans to keep the insects from returning.

How to prevent Leaf footed bugs from invading

Remove woodpiles and weeds, shield plants with row covers, repair damaged screens, caulk around doors and windows, seal any foundation cracks, vacuum up any leaf-footed bugs.

Habitat, Diet, and Life Cycle

Habitat

Leaf-footed bugs are overwintering species which live in a variety of different environments but prefer well-protected areas. This may include woodpiles, under peeling bark, in tree cracks, and, depending on the region, palm fronds, citrus trees, and inside various manmade structures.

Diet

Different species tend to eat from different food sources, though all leaf-footed bugs typically feed on the seeds and fruits of various plants. The pest species has been known to feed on items ranging from tomatoes and pomegranates to numerous nuts, citrus fruits, and ornamental trees and shrubs.

Life Cycle

The eggs of the leaf-footed bug hatch after about 10 days, and females can lay up to 200 eggs at a time. Shaped like barrels, the eggs are deposited in rows, either on twigs or the leaves of plants. Typically, only one generation hatches each year. The insects go through five instars, or moults, before reaching full adulthood in about 30 days.

Commonly Asked Questions

How worried should I be about leaf-footed bugs?

Leaf-footed bugs can affect different crops depending on how early the feeding occurs in the plant’s growth, leading to severe deformities, dead leaves, and shrivelled, deformed, or shrunken seeds.

As well, they can damage crops as they feed, by excreting a digestive enzyme to liquefy the seed or fruit for consumption. In doing so, they also release a fungal yeast that causes unsightly discolouration. When occurring indoors they can be alarming and a nuisance.

Leaf-footed bugs gather in alarming numbers that can be difficult to tackle alone. To truly eliminate a leaf-footed bug infestation, you’ll need the help of professional pest control service.

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