Do you know how Harlequin bugs damage your crops? If you are looking for harlequin bug control and various methods to get rid of Harlequin Bugs, then read on for your complete guidance.
If you are thinking of planting any family member of the cabbage family in your garden, you need to be alert to the dangers Harlequin Bugs can cause to them.
They are tiny mischievous invasive pests that arrive at night in groups and attack your plants by withdrawing fluids from their tissues until they die. It is necessary to control them unless they multiply and damage your whole garden.
There are many organic and natural ways by which we can be successful in thoroughly getting rid of Harlequin Bugs. You can also try these remedies on Pink Mold, Roaches Control, Lace Bugs, Pill Bug infection.
We will explain in this post tips and tricks so you can successfully eliminate them from damaging your beautiful crops.
Are Harlequin Bugs Dangerous?
Harlequin bugs are unmistakably dangerous because they kill the plant in bits and pieces, and, in the case of a heavy attack with many of them, plants instantly wilt.
They completely drain the juice from the plant’s tissues. First, they have yellow to brown spots, sometimes tiny holes, then they wilt and become brown, finally dying.
These bugs are pesky in nature and feed and reproduce throughout the year. In winter, they take shelter in the stems of their host plants and survive the winter, and then in spring, they activate and start their harmful activities.
Harlequin Bug Life Cycle
The feminine harlequin bug takes 50 to 80 days to breed. Their life cycle is split into the egg, nymph, and adult phases.
Harlequin bugs spend the cold months hidden in stems as adults and lay eggs in the warmer months. They increase significantly since each lays 12 eggs every three days.
Their babies are nymphs, and adults are about the size of your fingernail. After six to eight weeks of nursing, nymphs reach maturity and start looking for partners of their own.
1. Where do you find their eggs?
These eggs are found in bunches on the corners of leaves where there is shade.
2. How are their eggs produced and removed naturally?
Generally, the female bugs stay on the plant their whole life cycle, and the males migrate from plant to plant for mating. Naturally, their eggs are destroyed or eaten by garden spiders, controlling their population.
3. How are their nymphs removed naturally?
Parasitic wasps usually naturally aid in the management of juvenile harlequin species. Other than that, stink bugs, praying mantises, and beetles destroy newly born nymphs.
Favorite Hosts of Harlequin Bug
These bugs mostly always target vulnerable crops, mainly because they are out of season, particularly cool-season crops when the spring weather changes into warm weather conditions.
That’s how they also alert farmers about the seasons of farming. Well, they love the cabbage family even more than we do. And you will mostly find them feeding on their family members leaves and stems.
Some of their favorite hosts among cabbage family members and other plants include:
Harlequin Bugs Damage On Host Plants?
These nasty bugs eat their host plant by drinking its nutrients. This same host plant wilts, browns, and ultimately die because of real “squeezing to death.”
The harlequin bug nourishes and replicates all year across the majority of its territory. Furthermore, the coming winter forces them into the protection of vegetable shoots, grass bunches, as well as other debris.
Grownups may generally take only one that withstands the cold. The adults appear during the initial mild weeks of spring, just in time for the cultivation of the crop season.
Do they only harm us?
As they thrive on dying plants more than healthy ones, they usually attack them so farmers can get rid of them and remove them from their gardens.
They can also act as your frenemies; if you are planting a summer crop in winter or a winter crop in summer, they will target them to alert you of what mistake you have made.
We take special cleaning and weeding to prevent them from destroying our crops. They make you take care of your plants more than you will.
The region where they are primarily present?
You can find them mainly in the warmer regions of America and Australia.
harlequin bug control: 9 Organic Methods
Well, as we have discussed earlier, many natural predators control their population by eating them or their eggs, so you can also put some effort into maintaining them.
1. Prevent mating:
Obviously, this is a natural process for them to reproduce, but they usually mate in clusters, and you can easily catch males and females during this process.
And prevent their mating by removing them from there and protecting your plants from them; otherwise, each female will lay 12 eggs.
2. Removes eggs:
Not just garden spiders, we can also find their barrel-shaped eggs on our leaves, especially in warmer seasons.
Pick them carefully, remove them from the leaves, and throw the eggs in a container of water and soap so they won’t develop and destroy them.
3. Control your planting:
As these plants attack fragile plants more, try to harvest before their seasons run out or plant your vegetables according to the season.
These bugs feed based on a protective strategy to keep enemies at bay.
That’s why they select your cool season plant to habitat in summer, as most of the enemies will be looking out for your seasonal plants.
These fragile plants will protect them and give them shelter to hide in and food to eat. Hand-picking eggs on such plant leaves will control their population.
4. Eliminate their shelter in winter:
As these pests are not winter-loving and hide in their host stem during that period, look for such unhealthy plants and remove them. Once you expose them to cold weather, they will die naturally.
This looks cruel but believes me, this step will protect your plant from their heavy population attack when they multiply at double speeds to kill your plants.
5. Use their favorite host as a trap:
You can grow their favorite host, such as mustard or horseradish, in the middle of the field to trap them and remove them using organic pesticides.
You can also grow plants such as garlic, onion, or any other odor plant in your fields; as they hate their odor, they will stay away from your fields.
6. Removal of weeds:
Weeds must also be kept in check-in fields and along field margins. They like to survive the winter in weedy or bushy regions, so maintain the spaces around your field weeded.
7. Spray with organic soap foam:
Organic material clay or natural insecticidal soap can be used to make a soapy foam that is organic. It will erode the waxy layer from the harlequin bug’s body, leading it to dry and die.
8. Use of neem oil:
Neem oil is a natural insecticide that can kill many insects and fungal illnesses. You may spray it on affected plants, as these malicious bugs move from one plant to another after wreaking havoc on another.
9. Use of kaolin Spray:
As kaolin is a naturally occurring element, it contains extra minerals that are incredibly effective in regulating the growth of cruciferous plants.
Make a weak solution and spray it over plants to repel bugs that confuse and annoy them, causing them to leave the plants.
Other Ways to Getting Rid of Harlequin Bugs
Harlequin Bugs can be got rid of in both natural and chemical ways, but most farmers and gardeners avoid them to avoid negative chemical impacts.
A: Chemical ways to control Harlequin bugs
Chemicals are very effective in eliminating these little trouble makers’ pests, but in the long run, it is not a very good way to tackle them.
B: Spraying insecticides
Insecticides can be used to get rid of them. Pyrethrins, Rotenone, dust removal, and soapy water sprays can kill Harlequin bugs.
Using these insecticides, you can spray your plant from top to bottom. However, these toxic substances might also have an impact on our plants and us as well.
FAQS of Getting Rid Of Harlequin Bugs
Q: how Do The Eggs Of Harlequin Bugs Look Like?
They look like small barrels with red, yellow, or orange stripes. They are present in clusters formed on the surface of leaves.
Q: Is Harlequin Bugs Bite Poisonous To Humans?
No, their bites are not toxic to humans.
Q: Can Harlequin Bugs Fly?
No, they are not able to fly.
Q: Which Chemicals Can Be Used To Kill Harlequin Bugs?
Pesticides are like. Pyrethrums, Rotenone, and dust removal can kill Harlequin bugs.
Q: What Instantly Kills Harlequin Bugs?
Soapy water sprays can instantly kill them by dehydration.
Q: Where We Can Find Eggs Of Harlequin Bugs
Eggs of Harlequin Bugs are present in clusters that form on the shady surface of the leaves.
These pests belong to that category that harms your crops more by eating their leaves and stem; thus, getting rid of Harlequin Bugs by using effective remedies of elimination we have talked about above is the best defense you have against them.
My name is Olivia, staying in the United States, and I love to have plants in my garden. Lots of plants are there in my balcony, indoor and outdoor garden also. Here I am trying to share useful tips on gardening, how to grow and care for various plants, etc. Check out more.