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 Post subject: Leaf Footed Bugs
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 1:40 pm 
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Location: Hearne,TEXAS
I am new to this so I hope I get my question posted correctly. Did anyone else but me have an epidemic of leaf footed bugs this past year? I had them everywhere. I don't know what could have caused such an outbreak. They were in my tomatoes, peppers, and even in my pecan tree in the front yard. Just curious if anyone else had a similar problem.


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 Post subject: Re: Leaf Footed Bugs
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:10 am 
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Location: Fort Worth,TEXAS
I've had bad years with them, last year it was the cutworms that made life miserable early in the season, and some different pests and the year progressed. I've posted photos of them in the site, I think, if you look around.

My trick for reducing the numbers may be slow but it works, and if I do it for a few minutes a day, the numbers shrink. My garden isn't that big and they attack specific plants so I go to their favorite plants.

I take two 1-gallon paint sticks and sneak up on the bug or joined pair (even better - stop the next generation!) and slowly reach under the leaf with one stick and over the top with the other, then I slap them together quickly and kill the bugs. Not super hard to rip the leaf, just fast enough as a slap and you'll take them out. Spend a few minutes a day slapping down the bugs in view and you will reduce the numbers. I do the foliar feeding but if those guys are out I also add a little orange oil to slow or kill them.

Where I can I try to remove pests mechancially (by hand) so I am not harming the beneficial insects and any of the lizards and toads that live in my garden happily eating bugs.

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 Post subject: Re: Leaf Footed Bugs
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:12 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2013 1:14 pm
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Location: Hearne,TEXAS
Thanks for your reply and input. I smashed a pile of them but the pecan tree in my front yard is about forty feet high and it was covered with them. I am afraid they will be back again this spring. I sprayed some with orange oil, but they are tough enough that the concentration will burn foliage before it will kill them. I had some tomatoe worms but between picking them off and moving them and a little Dipel dust, they weren't a problem.


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 Post subject: Re: Leaf Footed Bugs
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:55 pm 
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My problem plants were tomatoes and the datura in the front yard - no height restrictions.

Interrupting the life-cycle seems to be the approach that, if started early enough, might make a dent in them.

I googled "leaf-footed bug life cycle" and came up with an article from Austin organic gardeners that confirms my methods (scroll down to the conversation).

I would pay close attention to Howard's discussion about Neem - it can be VERY good but it can also go VERY WRONG. You need to find a variety that is fresh and stable. I've burned plants with it, and there are some that simply don't tolerate it. Eggplant can, tomatoes seem to, but peppers look horrible for the rest of the season if you use neem on them. Test a spot, like they say with cleaning products - to see if it leaves damage. And if you get them when they're small I'd think a mild mix of orange oil or neem will work, where on the bigger bugs it is more difficult.

Not sure why the message about the file not being available is there - scroll down and you'll see a photo I took in the okra last summer.

Attachment:
The attachment leaf-footed-bug-nymph-July2012-1a_zpsecf17631[1].jpg is no longer available


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File comment: This is what the small leaf-footed bug looks like. Small yellow/orange with a larger tipped abdomen. You need to get them when they're small before they're breeding and laying eggs.
leaf-footed-bug-nymph-July2012-1a_zpsecf17631[1].jpg
leaf-footed-bug-nymph-July2012-1a_zpsecf17631[1].jpg [ 169.28 KiB | Viewed 298 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Leaf Footed Bugs
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 4:59 pm 
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Location: Hearne,TEXAS
That is exactly what I had. Thanks for the advice and input. I am hoping this cold wet winter will destroy some of the eggs and next spring will be better. I definitely will try to stay ahead of them this year. Can't wait for warmer weather. Ready to start planting!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Leaf Footed Bugs
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 6:30 am 
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There's lots of things you can be planting now! They're not all warm season crops!

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