Bronze Orange Bug
Bronze Orange Bugs are those smelly, ugly bugs which crawl over your citrus. Commonly called stink bugs they can be quite damaging to citrus trees as they suck the goodness out of stems. New shoots wilt and fruit and flowers can drop prematurely. You also need to be careful of the foul liquid they eject as their defense mechanism. This liquid will burn skin and eyes on contact.
Bronze Orange Bugs change colour as they grow. Young green nymphs hatch from eggs then turn orange/pink as they grow before eventually becoming black when fully grown. By this stage they are about 25mm long.
All citrus plants including a range of native citrus
Organic Control Method for Bronze Orange Bugs
Most people only think about this pest when they notice the large orange and black bugs in late spring and summer. At this size they are difficult to control organically but here are your options:
On smaller trees it is possible to catch and kill the bugs as they don’t move quickly. Use tongs to knock them into a bug of soapy water where they’ll drown. Be sure you wear a long sleeved top and gloves to protect your skin against the caustic liquid they squirt. Protect your eyes as well with sunglasses. Some people use a vacuum cleaner to suck them up instead but make sure it’s an old vacuum. You’ll never get the stink out of it!
On hot days bronze orange bugs will withdraw from the foliage and will congregate on the lower trunk of the tree where it is cooler. This is the perfect opportunity to squash them with a stick or collect them via the above methods.
Pyrethrum sprays will kill these bugs but there are two things to be mindful of here. Firstly pyrethrum is non-selective. It will kill pretty much any insect it touches including all the good insects like bees and ladybeetles. Secondly virtually all the pyrethrum products for sale to home gardeners are not allowed in organic farming. This is because they usually contain another ingredient called piperonyl butoxide which is banned. We know that you will regularly read that pyrethrum is an organic spray but unfortunately this is not true if piperonyl butoxide is in the product. Read the label as it is required to be declared as an Active Constituent.