7/5/2009 7:55 PM
This “true bug”, Leptoglossus species aka Leffooted Bug was running around my garden today after I pulled out my tomato plants. Sorry bug, you are late to the party – the stinkbugs and rainy weather already took their toll on my garden. Although I am happy to report that I was able to harvest an abundance of fruit before they ruined my garden party.
Adult leafooted bugs are about 3/4 inch in length and are dark. Although you cannot see it from this angle of my picture the hind legs have flattened, leaf-like expansions on the tibia (whence comes their common name). Nymphal stages look similar to adults except that they do not have fully developed wings and they are a bright orange color.
Leaffooted bugs feed on a wide variety of developing fruit, including cotton, peaches, and tomatoes, and seeds such as beans, black-eyed peas, and sorghum. They also feed on the stems and tender leaves of plants such as potatoes. Damage produced is similar to that produced by stink bugs. Like stinkbugs, leafooted bugs have well developed scent glands and will emit a distinctive odor when handled.
The leaffooted bug is controlled by application of insecticides, cultural practices, and by hand picking. Like stinkbugs, adult leaffooted bugs are difficult to control. Leaffooted bugs are easiest to control when nymphs as they do not move as quickly or fly like the adults do. Wear gloves and hand pick them when you see them to stop their development into adult bugs.
Copyright ©2009 Paul J. Erdek, FloridaGardener.com