Tarnished plant bugs scientifically called ( Lygus lineolaris,) is a species of plant-feeding insect of the family Miridae. It has piercing-sucking mouthparts and has become a severe pest on small fruits and vegetables in most part of the world especially North America. It feeds on over half of all commercially grown crop plants but favours cotton, alfalfa, beans, stone fruits, and conifer seedlings.
A study done in southwestern Quebec, Canada has investigated factors like weed favour the presence of L. lineolaris in a commercial vineyard. This study indicated that plants that grow from the cultivation of crops serve as a vital food source for L. lineolaris. Adults can grow as large as 6.5 mm in length, and are brown with accents of yellow, orange or red, with a light-colored “V” on the back (dorsal).
It feeds on almost all commercial crops, L. lineolaris specifically prefers to feed on young apples and weeds. The TPB has a special mode of feeding called the “lacerate and flush” feeding strategy where it uses sucking mouthparts to inject saliva into the host plant. Its saliva contains an enzyme called polygalacturonase which degrades plant tissue and pectin in the plant cell wall allowing for faster digestion.
They accomplish this by injecting its salivary gland transcriptome. Researchers discovered TPB sialo transcriptome that played a role in extra-oral digestion. These bugs are known for their destructive feeding habits – they puncture plant tissues with their piercing mouthparts, and feed by sucking sap. Both the physical injury and the plant’s own reaction to the bugs’ saliva cause to the damage to the plant.
The females lay her eggs directly into the plant tissues using piercing ovipositors, and the newly emerged nymphs are voracious consumers of plant tissue juices. Some of the physical Signs that this bug has attacked a plant include discoloration, deformation of shoots and stems, curling of leaves, and lesions on the plant tissues.
Insecticides and herbicides
Plant growers routinely make 3–5 applications of insecticides each year to control this insect. If you Consider the narrow profit margin for today’s farmers, the cost of such applications is significant. There are varieties of insecticide in the market though some may not be as productive as others.
Mowing and maintenance of weeds can control the population of L. lineolaris adults within crop fields and vineyards. Rainfall is classified as a form of mechanical control of L. lineolaris because raindrops may likely knock individuals bugs off the plant The results from a study investigating the effects of rainfall on L. lineolaris showed that the number of nymphs decreased during the heavy rainfall years.
Peppermint also known as (menthe balsamea wild ) is a hybrid mint. It is a cross between watermint and spearmint. The smell of peppermint is a natural pest repellant. Based on the fact that peppermint is a hybrid plant, it does not produce seeds. So you should not have any fear that it will become a weed on your farm.
Another sure, and safe way to get rid of tarnish plant bugs is to contact a pest control exterminator around Charlotte NC. You will have access to professional advice, quick inspection in case of emergencies, and 100% professional service.