Tuesday, 11 September 2012

HARLEQUIN BUGS-Didymus versicolour

Harlequin Bugs are just starting to hatch and grow in gardens all around the city.
The population seemed to explode last year, and  many clients reporting their gardens invaded by these bugs. They love to hide and shelter in rubbish and long grass. As the weather warms up they start to emerge and breed.They cause a lot of damage to food and ornamental plants. They suck the sap, disfiguring the plant, and also spreading disease. They can ruin apples and other fruit.
Unfortunately hens and other birds dont seem to like them. In days gone by, an spray of nicotine was recommended. However, I have been using a spray recommended by Peter Cundall; with great results. It is crucial that you have a look in the garden now and look for the juvenile bugs. Turn over piles of wood; keep grass short near the veggie patch and orchard. The Mallow plant ( also a common weed) is a particular favourite of  the Harlequin bug. Wherever you see it , remove it.
You will see the bugs early in the morning basking on fences and plants. When they are in these clusters ,they are easy to target.
Mating adult Harlequin bugs

Harlequin bugs-Juvenile stage
What you need is a spray bottle, and a strong solution of dishwashing liquid.Give them a thorough spray, and they should be killed quickly. Another gardening friend taps them into a bucket of boiling water.
If you arent getting success, give me a call and I will be happy to help you with this


  1. Nice one Kate, I'm in the throws of organising the garden at the moment will check to seee if any of the little buggers are out there!

  2. I have been searching through the areas where I saw these bugs last year, and have come across a few clusters. They have been dealt with, and I know there are more lurking !