Just when your poor citrus tree thought it would be safe to put on some new growth, finally mustering up the energy to grow again after a productive fruiting season, this dreaded pest arrives with its stinky, squirty spray, sucking all the vigour from the new spring shoots. The Bronze Orange Bug is also known as a Stink Bug.
Why these Bronze Orange Bugs need to go…
These prolific pests will damage citrus trees, often causing fruit to drop. Bronze orange bugs will suck the sap from the tree, flowers and fruit will subsequently fall and stems can turn discoloured and die.
Bronze orange bugs are out in force during warmer months. This pest appears first in late winter as a light green nymph, making it hard to spot. As bronze orange bugs develop they gradually darkening as they get older, changing colour into the more familiar orange to bronze. Some bird species will consume these pests but often not enough to control and prevent damage to plants.
When mature, the bronze orange bug is orange-brown or black and approximately 25mm long. The bronze orange bug mainly attacks citrus trees. Mature bugs are clearly visible feeding on young shoots, fruit and flowers. When disturbed the bugs orientate themselves so they can squirt an evil smelling chemical in their attackers direction. This chemical not only smells awful, it stains the skin and can cause a burning sensation if squirted in the eye.
The bugs suck the sap from young shoots, fruit and flowers in summer. This causes wilting of young shoots and flower stalks which generally turn black and shrivel.
What to do
Yates Nature’s Way Citrus & Ornamental Spray, which is the only spray registered with the APVMA for home garden control of Bronze Orange Bug on edible citrus.
Make sure you wear gloves, long sleeves, protective glasses and a hat or other protective clothing. Bronze Orange Bugs emit a foul-smelling, citric-acid-rich liquid when disturbed and this can be very dangerous, particularly if sprayed in the eyes.