The species Lygus lineolaris is known as Tarnished Plant Bug or Lygus Bug. It can result in significant plant yield loss due to its feeding preference on plant parts such as buds, flowers and young developing fruit. Damage can be produced rapidly and even with a relatively low level infestation due to the insect’s habit of releasing digestive enzymes (called exo-enzymes) within their saliva, which begins breaking down the plant material before ingestion.
The adult Tarnished Plant Bug is bronze in colour and can reach 0.7-1 cm in length. It has distinct white lines behind its head and an oval body shape. They have extremely long antennae that are usually segmented into four or five parts. The nymph is typically green in colour and wingless, although very similar in shape to the adults.
Inspect buds, flowers and young fruits for adults or signs of insect feeding (droplets of sap or tiny discolored areas in the leaves). Sweep nets and limb taps can also be used to detect presence of the adults in the orchard floor, vegetation and trees. Adults will quickly take to flight if disturbed. It is also important to prevent weeds from forming young buds and flowers, as this will enhance the likelihood of Tarnished plant bug infestation; thus, adequate weed management is an important component of a control program for this pest.