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Southern green stink bug

Most recently reviewed by: Tyler Mays (2018)

Common Name(s): Southern Green Stink Bug

Pest Location

Row Crop


Adults are about 1/2 to 3/4-inch in length and are solid green. Immature stages vary in color from black for very small nymphs to green for larger nymphs. However, the immature stages have a distinctive pattern of whitish spots on the abdominal segments. Nymphal stages are often found together in high numbers because eggs are laid in clusters that appear as rows of small barrels on and around suitable food sources. Development from egg to adult requires about 35 days, but varies with temperature. Up to five generations per year may occur with greater numbers appearing in the fall before adults overwinter.

Habitat & Hosts

The southern green stink bug feeds on a wide variety of developing fruit, including cotton, peaches and tomatoes, and seeds such as pecan, sorghum and soybeans. They also feed on the parts of many ornamental and wild plants.

In fruit, such as tomatoes, damage is of two types. When the young green fruit is injured, the cells at the site of feeding are killed by the toxic saliva injected by the bugs into the plant. This area of the fruit stops expanding, while the cells around the dead cells continue to expand by increasing their water content. The result is deformed fruit that appears to have dimples. This type of damage has been called “cat facing.” When ripened or nearly ripened fruit is injured, the injection of toxic saliva merely kills a cluster of cells that later forms an off-color hard mass in the fruit, reducing fruit quality and producing a bad flavor to the fruit. Some plant diseases are spread by stink bug feeding.

Life Cycle

Simple metamorphosis adults deposit barrel-shaped eggs; immature stages develop through five stages or instars that appear similar to adults except that they do not have fully developed wings. Several generations can be produced each year.

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Leaf-footed bug

Article author: Bill Ree
Most recently reviewed by: Charles Allen (2018)

Common Name(s): Leaf-Footed Bug

Pest Location

Row Crop, Vegetable and Fruit


Leaffooted bug is a common name given to insects in the family Coreidae. These insects can be identified by the expanded dilation of the tibia or lower portion of the leg. The dilations can be pronounced, Figure 1, or slight, Figure 2, depending on species. The majority of the species are dark colored and medium to large (5/8 to 1 + inch in length) in size with most being plant feeders, however, a few may be predaceous. As a group, leaffooted bugs have a wide host range that includes numerous fruits, vegetables, citrus, row crops, ornamentals and weeds. The adults are strong fliers and can move considerable distances to search for host plants.


Habitat & Hosts

Leaffooted bugs feed a wide range of host plants including: pecan, fruit, citrus, millet, vegetables and numerous weeds, Figures 6, 7, 8, 9.

Life Cycle

Leaffooted bugs have three life stages – egg, nymph and adult. Adults over winter, emerge during the spring where females lay eggs on host plants. Eggs are laid in chains, Figure 5 and there are 5 nymphal or instar stages. Early instars are reddish with black legs, Figure 4 and can be easily confused with the beneficial wheel bug nymphs, Figure 10, which have a red abdomen but a black thorax and head. The adult wheel bug, Figure 11 is often confused with adult leaffooted bugs. The wheel bug is a predacious insect and is considered beneficial.

Leaffoted bugs damage plants as both adult and the nymphal stages. All stages have piercing-sucking mouthparts that they use this to feed on plant juices from leaves, shoots, stems and fruit.


If you live in the State of Texas, contact your local county agent or entomologist for management information. If you live outside of Texas, contact your local extension for management options.

There are various management options, either alone or in combination that can be undertaken, depending on host plants and the area that needs to be protected. Various management options can include:

Cultural: Removing or managing early season weed host such as thistle and Gaura can help reduce populations in the immediate area, Figure 12

Physical: Depending on the crop, row covers, which physically exclude the insect can be effective, Figure 13.

Organic: There are several organic certified insecticides that can be used, however, residual control from these products will be limited and reapplications will have to be made.

Natural enemies: Various predators and parasites attack leaffooted bugs. Predators can include assassin bugs, spiders and predatory stinkbugs. A common parasite of leaffooted bug and stink bug adults and late instar nymphs is the feather legged fly Trichopoda pennipes, Figure 14.

Insecticides: The most effective insecticides are the pyrethroid based products. Some examples of pyrethroid active ingredients include: bifenthrin, lambda-cyhaolthrin, permethrin, cypermethrin and cyfluthin. Insecticides, including organic products work best against the nymphal stages so frequent scouting of host plants is recommended to detect early stages of an infestation. When using an insecticide read and follow label directions for safety precautions, rates and preharvest intervals.

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