This Bug Stinks! - Dec 01, 2008

When I was growing up in Castle Hill my neighbour was such a tidy freak she used to vacuum the driveway. Once I even saw her vacuuming the Lemon tree in the backyard. It wasn't until I studied horticulture that I realised my neighbour was using the vacuum cleaner to suck the Stink Bugs off the tree.

These cockroach looking bugs are also called Bronze Orange Bugs. They have become a major pest that attacks Citrus Trees throughout late Spring and Summer. They suck liquid out of the leaves and fruit. If you have dry brown patches in your Lemons the damage has been caused by Bronze Orange Bugs. These bugs change colour as they grow bigger. They start off green and at this stage they are hard to spot on your Citrus leaves. Then they turn bright orange before changing to bronze at maturity. If you disturb them when picking fruit they will squirt a smelly liquid onto your fingers that is almost impossible to remove. The stain can stay on your fingers for up to a week. If you're brave you can use your vacuum cleaner to control this insect. Remove the head so you have full sucking power. If your not so brave spray them with Garden King Conquer. This low toxic insecticide also controls Aphids,Mealy Bugs,Scale insects,Thrips and Whitefly. You will find " Conquer " in your local garden centre now.

Tim Pickles is a horticulturist and director of Tims Garden Centre 2 Queen St Campbelltown. 46267022.