Leaf-footed Bugs in Blueberries

The following text and photos are from Dr. Wayne Porter, MSU Area Horticulturist.

“I have found and had a call about leaf-footed bugs in blueberries. The call came from Lauderdale Co. and the ones I saw are in Clarke and Perry counties.

Leaf-footed bug cause damage when feed on leaves and fruit by piercing the blueberries with their proboscis and sucking the juices. The saliva of leaf‐footed bugs contains a toxic secretion, which further injures plant tissue. They may cause wilting and death of leaves and deformation and loss of fruit. Leaf-footed bugs can damage larger green and ripe fruits. Feeding on fruit with piercing‐sucking mouthparts causes pitting, distortion and discoloration. Puncturing of fruit also allows secondary pathogens to enter and cause rotting. Injured berries need to be removed on the grading line.

Leaf-footed Bug

Leaf-footed Bug

Leaf-footed bugs also raise their young within the fruiting cluster which is annoying when harvesting.

Immature Leaf-footed Bugs

Immature Leaf-footed Bugs

Insecticides should target the nymph and adult stages. Carbaryl (Sevin) and malathion should provide adequate control but be aware of preharvest intervals. Homeowners can usually catch and kill the bugs by hand since they are relatively slow moving. They might want to wear gloves since these bugs are in the stinkbug family.”

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2 responses

  1. We seem to have these on one bush. I have also found a small white worm in two blueberries off of different bushes. Can you help me. Thanks, Brenda

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    Date: Mon, 8 Jul 2013 16:11:26 +0000
    To: seasalt44@hotmail.com

    • Brenda:
      Are these worms eating the leaves or fruit? The worms may or may not be pests. You can send me a photo if you like and I can see what they look like. My email is estafne (at) ext.msstate.edu

      As for the leaffooted bugs you can do as Dr. Porter suggested and control with Malathion or Carbaryl (Sevin).

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