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The green bug

The green bug is native to the African continent, most likely Ethiopia, but today it is widespread practically all over the world: it is found in Asia and the Americas, as well as in Europe, with the exception of the colder climate regions. It is the cold, in fact the most bitter enemy of this insect, since in nature it has no great enemies, to tell the truth. Probably due to the repellent substances it sprays on predators, through special odoriferous glands placed on the chest. It is now several tens of years that the species has adapted to live in latitudes further north, in northern Italy it is possible to notice it in the lowland areas where winters do not exceed 1.5 ° C. In autumn it also seeks shelter inside the houses, as well as in its natural shelters.

The biology of the green bug


The green bug reproduces by amphigony, ie sexually. The eggs, with their characteristic hexagonal shape, are laid in small groups. As outside temperatures vary, it will take 5 to 21 days to hatch. From them will originate the nymphs that resemble, in broad terms, the adults; apart from the wings they lack. The nymphs will go through five pre-imaginal stages. The adults have the characteristic pentagon shape (in fact the animal belongs to the Pentatomidae family) and green color. In the younger specimens, however, the body is green and black, with white and red dots. The length of the adult specimens is around 12 mm. Withered leaves and bushes are the green bug’s natural refuge for the winter.

Two cousins, same damage


The green bug, be it Palomena prasina or Nezara viridula, is present everywhere in our country and attacks a large number of arboreal and herbaceous plants. The damage it causes to plants is caused by its bites to the different organs of the affected plant. The leaves and flower buds show necrosis in the areas all around the insect bites and subsequently undergo desiccation. The fruits take on typical chlorotic spots which are followed by necrotization of the tissues and the so-called cimiciato: an unpleasant taste that irremediably compromises the organoleptic qualities of the same, making them inedible and therefore not suitable for marketing. Furthermore, especially on young plants, the damage caused by the bites can lead to the death of the plants themselves.

Green bug: Fight against the green bug


The green bug is dangerous for the plants it attacks not only for the direct damage it causes, but also for the bacteria that spreads as a result of the wounds that the animal inflicts through the mouth stylets. Few natural enemies that attack the eggs and almost never the adults, they are not of great help for the containment of the invasions by this insect. The fight that takes place is of a chemical type, to be carried out as soon as the initial mobile forms appear, before they become adults, with products based on Azadirachtin (an extract of the Neem tree), Chlorpyrifos, pyrethrum or pyrethroids such as: Deltamethrin and Cypermethrin The treatments must be carried out in the coolest hours of the day, possibly in the evening, avoiding treatments during the flowering period.

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