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Fourlined Plant Bug Creature Feature
 



                                                  Photo by Nadine Haefs

Common Names:          Fourlined plant bug, Plant bug

Scientific Name:            Order Heteroptera, family Miridae, Poecilocapsus lineatus

Size:                             Adult - 1/4" - 1/3"

Identification:  Adult is yellowish-green and black with four jet black lines on the pronotum (shield behind the head) and fore wings. Nymphs are bright red with black spot on thorax (midsection) and yellow stripes on wing pads. Damage by this insect looks more like disease infection than insect damage.

Biology/Life Cycle:    One generation a year. Very active insects. Eggs overwinter in soft tissues of plant stems. Incomplete metamorphosis.

Habitat:   Meadows, gardens and crop fields. These insects love mint,  hyssop, roses other herbs and small fruits.

Feeding Habits: They suck plant juices, nectar and sometimes liquids from freshly killed insects. White or dark spots appear on upper sides of leaves where these bugs have sucked juice. When severe, the entire leaf will wither and drop. The spots look more like a fungus disease than insect damage.

Economic Importance: Cosmetic damage early in the growing season. They are rarely around after it gets hot.

Natural Control:  Birds, assassin bugs, and other insectivorous animals.

Organic Control:  Treat before they mature with manure tea, molasses, garlic and citrus oil mix.

Insight:  We didn't see these insects for many years.  During the spring of  '95 they were more visible and we had many calls about their damage.                                                               


Photo by Nadine Haefs

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