Conversations

20
220
Paul Underhill  |  Terra Firma Farm  |  Winters, CA

Subject: Bagrada Bugs in Norcal

Hey all. I was out scouting my young kale field for aphids and worms the other day (there were plenty of both) and I found a new and entirely unwelcome pest: Bagrada Bug. It's a new invasive stinkbug that has been moving north from the Mexican border. It feeds primarily on brassicas and does terrible damage.

There is no organic control for the stupid bug especially to greens since they become essentially unmarketable.. They are recommending vacuuming them off the plants. Apparently another grower in my county reported finding them the same day.,

I am wondering if anyone has any experience dealing with this pest and what strategies you might have adopted, other than simply plowing your kale and broccoli fields under. Thanks,

In Topics Pest & Disease Management

In General FarmsReach community

Comments 31
09/03/14, updated
Avatar Image

  |  Branch Out Farm  |  Soquel, CA commented

Hi Rachel-

Thank you for your offer to share the powerpoint. Might you be willing to post here to alert us when it's up? Also, I am wondering if there might be a way to have the whole workshop recorded. There is just no way I can make it, and would be willing to pay for audio. Thanks!

10/28/14 3:31 AM
Avatar Image

  |  UCCE  |  Woodland, CA commented

Stink bug Management Workshop: I will post the speaker PowerPoint presentations on my website at http://ceyolo.ucanr.edu/ after the meeting.

10/27/14 1:13 PM
Avatar Image
4
1

  |  One Acre Farm  |  Morgan Hill, CA commented

Rachael,

Will the info from the workshop be available online? We would like to attend, but it's a long trip for us, especially on a week day. Thank you!

10/27/14 12:42 PM
Avatar Image

  |  UCCE  |  Woodland, CA commented

Stink bug Management Workshop Friday, November 21, 2014 from 8 a.m. - 10 a.m. at the UCCE office in Woodland, CA on 70 Cottonwood Street. This workshop will focus on identification, biology and management of established, new and emerging stink bugs in crop production in California, including the brown marmorated stink bug, bagrada bug, brown stink bug, and others. For more information see http://ceyolo.ucanr.edu/. No need to RSVP.

10/27/14 11:30 AM
Avatar Image
5

  |  Fresh SPIN Farms  |  Davis, CA commented

Yes Kimberly, Surenda has had success in the lab but we were not able to duplicate this in the field … yet.

10/22/14 9:28 AM
Avatar Image

  |  Pest Management, CDPR  |  Sacramento, CA commented

Looks like Surenda Dara, UCCE farm advisor, may have been having some success with entomopathogenic fungi organic control ... although from this webpage, seems the experiments are continuing before any definited conclusions are made

http://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=9531

10/22/14 6:53 AM
Avatar Image

  |  FarmsReach  |  Berkeley, CA commented

This has been a lively thread, and clearly a hot topic! Jim, please share when/if there will be a UCCE meeting about this. And, all, please keep comments constructive. We've flagged and removed a few of the recent posts. Thanks!

10/17/14 4:29 PM
Avatar Image
20
220

  |  Terra Firma Farm  |  Winters, CA commented

We are now just finishing up planting of our brassicas and have begun harvest. We have about 20 acres planted and I personally cannot see covering it all with row covers.

So far we have only lost a small percentage of the brassicas, but I'm not sure why. The damage was more obvious when the plants were small but the broccoli and cabbage we are harvesting right now seems to be yielding very well.

What concerns me is the number of bagradas feeding on and living in and under the allysum that I planted for the first time this year. While I feel like the allsyum is currently drawing the bugs out of my crops, I also can't help but wonder if planting it somehow attracted them in the first place.

I am hoping that UC extension and CDFA ramp up their response to this bug. It seems almost impossible to control organically, and it is just getting started. I think it would be great to get growers together in a room and compare notes.

10/17/14 8:21 AM
Avatar Image
5

  |  Fresh SPIN Farms  |  Davis, CA commented

Pepperweed also seems to be preferred host (I'm still trying to identify the origin for my infestation as the first ID on the bug was the adult stage.)

10/11/14 4:57 PM
Avatar Image
5

  |  Fresh SPIN Farms  |  Davis, CA commented

I'm going to say that based on leaf appearance, we've had them in Davis since summer of 2011. We are normally finding them with Harlequin Bugs and the Harlequin seems to be the heavier feeder (considerably larger so makes sense). The Harlequin seems pretty content once it finds a plant it likes, but Bagrada is more energetic and always on the move up and down mature plants. I'm trying to see now how they are moving and yes, I have some newly emerged diakon they prefer to the other seedlings. Since I'm seeing adults though in seedlings, I know they are coming over from somewhere else, so it's the perfect opportunity to see how they migrate.

We made a test spray of Venerate from Marrone Bio Innovations this morning. It is not as effective on adults as early nymphs, but will keep people updated on whether this works. For us, they don't seem to bother the seedlings if they have a more mature plant. If

... Read More
10/09/14 8:11 PM
Avatar Image
39
4

  |  School Road Farm  |  San Juan Bautista, CA commented

There is talk of a Bagrada Bug meeting at UCCE in Salinas in December but I haven't heard specifics yet. When I hear of a date and time I will pass that along.

We saw them in Salinas at USDA this past winter in mustards that were planted in the furrows of a berry field. They showed up in the Morgan Hill/Gilroy area this summer and they are definitely in the Davis area as reported by Paul. They have been moving north through California for the past couple of years. There seems to be some good information out of Arizona since they have been dealing with them since 2010 and UC Irvine also has some information.
I too would be curious to get a good sense of where they are and aren't in our region so hopefully we will hear from others on this forum. I've heard that Route One has been dealing with them. Have they made it up to Pescadero yet? I just spoke with Phil Foster and Phil has been hit pretty
... Read More
10/09/14 7:12 PM, updated
Avatar Image
3
2.5

  |  Jellicles Farm  |  Sunol , CA commented

overhead irrigation can be effective against aphids and thrips. i mean..*really* effective..especially for lettuce and its ilk. unfortunately, it is not viable as the only irrigation system during this drought.

10/08/14 9:32 PM
Avatar Image
20
220

  |  Terra Firma Farm  |  Winters, CA commented

Chickens sound like a great solution in the greenhouse, and maybe after a crop is finished.

I am pretty sure that we received the bugs on a shipment of plants from Headstart Nursery, and I alerted them to it. I found over a hundred bugs on a single shipment.

As far as spraying, I didn't find the Kaolin to be effective. However, we haven't had extensive damage to the crops even though the bugs are still out there. I'm not sure if that might have to do with our existing spray program for our brassicas, which is a combination of Ecotec and Oroboost (plus Bt, but I'm sure that isn't bothering them). The populations have not blown up the way other people described happening.

They also definitely like the allysum that we planted to attract beneficials.

Anyway, even after the initial freak-out, I am still generally more concerned about aphids than Bagradas because of the crop losses we have suffered from them in the past.

10/08/14 8:33 PM
Avatar Image
12
70

  |  Kern Family Farm  |  North Fork, CA commented

hello all im new to farms reach and definitely new to the bagrada beetle but after hearing the recent stories and then finding a greenhouse completely infested with the bugs we tried an experiment inspired by using the skill of one of the best naturally designed tools to collect up tiny dispersed things and properly dispose of them in one fell swoop, on other situations. CHICKENS!

we picked a couple of small beds in the greenhouse most infested, and already damaged beyond being marketable, and quarantined it off with pallets and threw in a few chickens and with a minute of them being able to acclimate to the move and notice the little bagradas they started wiping them out. picking up each little bug one at a time as fast as we all know chickens can peck things. so after 8 hours there was a 95% success rate and by the next day virtually none visible, including the tinniest babies after hatch.

then when

... Read More
10/04/14 2:32 PM
Avatar Image
3
2.5

  |  Jellicles Farm  |  Sunol , CA commented

Hello Matthew, can you please take a picture of the bug the next time you spot it. I have been seeing stink bugs in my field that is adjacent to yours, but I have also had more than a few praying mantis sightings. I was also hoping that the birds were feasting on something nasty(or yummy, depends on who you are asking). I have also been seeing a lot of ladybug larvaes lately.

if anyone else has a positive ID picture if this bug, I would much appreciate it.

09/25/14 12:59 PM
Avatar Image
3
2

  |  Happy Acre Farm  |  Sunol, CA commented

Hello everyone, thank you all for he information! I have discovered tons of these frickin Bagrada bugs where we farm in Sunol, CA. I planted a quarter acre of Spigarello Broccoli and Hyland Kale and they are pretty much destroying the whole thing! I will try reemay on new planting but since they are already in the soil im not too optimistic. I agree with planting later in the fall once things have cooled off a bit, although I was hoping to travel in January and not be harvesting :)

Apparently this is the first time farmers in Sunol have seen Bagrada in their fields...

09/25/14 10:13 AM
Avatar Image
5

  |  Fresh SPIN Farms  |  Davis, CA commented

Correction, "Amber" Frills should be "Golden" Frills. Sorry.

09/22/14 4:35 PM
Avatar Image
5

  |  Fresh SPIN Farms  |  Davis, CA commented

I wanted to add some more to the discussion. We will be testing a pair of products from Marrone Bio Innovations with UCANR for efficacy on the Bagrada Bug.

Until there are results, I have found that they are very picky eaters. They love a variety of frilly mustard and feed almost exclusively on this when it is in a mixture of other summer brassica. I do not have broccoli or cauliflower planted at this time, so can only pass on information on Chinese Cabbage, Arugula, Totsoi, Pak Choi, Kale, and Mizuna. The most popular for this bug is a Scarlet Frills with Amber Frills their second choice. You can see the non-organic varieties here at Johnny's (http://www.johnnyseeds.com/c-361-mustard-greens.aspx). When exposed to a mix of host plants, they congregate on the black mustard (Scarlet Frills)

The photo above has 4 pair of adults plus two individual adults. Also shows typical damage on this narrow

... Read More
09/22/14 4:26 PM
Avatar Image
5

  |  Fresh SPIN Farms  |  Davis, CA commented

Seems like these Bagradas are in Davis now as well. I just found what I hope is a new colony this morning. Note that these seem to fly only as a last resort but are very quick over the ground.

09/19/14 12:07 PM
Avatar Image
4
1

  |  One Acre Farm  |  Morgan Hill, CA commented

Paul,

Did the kaolin clay have any effect on the Bagradas?

We've been going through every row of brassicas squishing the Bagradas by hand then replanting the damaged crops and covering the whole row with remay or insect netting and completely sealing the edges with soil. The row covers do seem to keep them out, but there are always some still trapped inside, and even in small numbers they are quite destructive. Besides the extra work it takes to cover the plants like this, it is making it harder to notice and react to other pests, like cabbage loopers. Next fall we plan to cover them thoroughly right at planting, which will hopefully avoid Bagrada and other flying pests, but I'm not sure we'll be able to save this year's crop.

We've also had no success with the sticky traps (black, yellow, and green) or pyramid traps baited with sweet alyssum or stink bug attractant.

09/18/14 12:52 PM
Avatar Image
42
10

  |  Classic Organic Farm  |  Gaviota, CA commented

Remay row covers will work. They maybe impractical or too expensive on a large scale. The Bagrada can reach thru the cover if the cover touches the plant so the covers need to be held up by hoops. Also, the cover needs to be held to the ground on all four sides so that the bugs can not find a way in. Also the covers need to be put up the same day as planting. Good luck

09/06/14 7:38 AM
Avatar Image
4
1

  |  One Acre Farm  |  Morgan Hill, CA commented

Paul,

We would definitely like to hear the results of the kaolin clay experiment. Here's an update on our status: Right now we are doing pick-n-squish to try to keep their numbers in check. We started solarizing the area of the biggest infestation this morning. We won't be able to plant it again this season because of the timing, but we're hoping to reduce the population for next year. I also made some black sticky traps, but they don't seem to work at all. I also got some sweet alyssum, which does seem to attract them. For now, I'm just shaking them from the alyssum into a bucket of soapy water because I hate the idea of just providing their favorite food and just letting them have at it.

09/05/14 5:23 PM
Avatar Image
20
220

  |  Terra Firma Farm  |  Winters, CA commented

Also, BTW, these forums will really work better if posters avoid changing the subject mid-thread, especially if they are trying to sell or promote products that are not directly related to the subject. If you guys want to talk about worm castings, that's great. Please cut your posts out of this thread and paste into a new one with an appropriate title. They are more likely to attract attention that way anyway.

09/05/14 4:52 PM
Avatar Image
20
220

  |  Terra Firma Farm  |  Winters, CA commented

So a neighbor of mine told me he had some success last year controlling Bagradas with Surround (kaolin clay). He says they stopped feeding on the plants after he sprayed it. We put some on the kale today along with our aphid and worm materials so I will report back in a few days when we see the results.

09/05/14 4:38 PM
Avatar Image
40
115

  |  Wood Prairie Farm  |  Bridgewater, ME commented

Michael, not to change the subject, but I have a worm castings question I wonder if you could help answer. We are toying with the idea of trickling worm castings into knifed furrows sliced 10-12" deep (created by twin mid-mounted chisel teeth) which are directly in-line with the shallow three-foot-on-center furrow openers on our two-row potato planter. We like the results we've received from experimental use of worm castings and would like to get their biological activity into the work area where the tubers set and grow. Our question: we wonder what is the the minimum amount of worm castings (say per 1000 row feet) we should apply in-furrow to achieve desired benefit? We currently dribble into the deep furrows a solution of soluble kelp, hydrolized fish, Quantum Light and Fulvic Acid. These efforts practiced and envisioned are for growing our primary crop: early generation organic Certified Seed

... Read More
09/05/14 11:49 AM
Avatar Image
15

  |  Page's Organics  |  Ramona, CA commented

Agree with Sara ..we have the same problem in SO Cal. The mustard is the culprit and catch crops help along with timing. We don't plant much Brassicas so they start out on our jalapeños and sometimes tomato plants. They don't seem to move as fast on the peppers and tomatoes so we just ignore em and hurry along the harvest and till. We use plenty of worm castings and tea and keep the mustard down with pointed shovels handy in all the plots.

09/05/14 11:27 AM
Avatar Image
7
30

  |  The Abundant Table and South Centra Farmers  |  Santa Paula, CA commented

I work on a farm in Southern California and we were hit with the bragada bug two years ago. It basically wiped out all of our brassicas. Most of the organic farmers between Los Angeles and Santa Ynez experienced the same infestation (the Imperial Valley was impacted a year or two before us). This was financially devastating for all of us, we basically had to till under all crops that were impacted. A few things that we have done differently because of what we have learned:

- The bragada bug comes around when it is hot (80-100 degrees F) and they have consumed all the wild mustard in the area. They can attack most plants, but prefer the brassicas. We basically have stopped planting brassicas directly in the field until later in the fall.

- The bug prefers and devastates the tender leaves of a young plant. We work with a local grower who can do transplants in a greenhouse during August and September, so

... Read More
09/05/14 10:51 AM
Avatar Image
15

  |  P.J. Dunn Working Redworms  |  Galt, CA commented

Well, I know there are a lot of farmers out there who are using different types of organic solutions for pest control. As I am a worm farmer, I will suggest several things with the disclaimer that I don't claim to have the answer! Plant health and balanced soil biology are two important factors in growing organically, I hope someone will agree with me on that. Worm castings contain a variety of nutrients necessary for plant growth along with a healthy quantity of microbes. So I always recommend the addition of worm castings to any planting medium for their documented results in plant health and increased crop yields. Of course, you must understand my bias, but also there are the results that I have experienced and those of my steady customers over the last 15 years! The most exciting new developments in worm castings are the results and the current research on aerated worm casting teas in soil

... Read More
09/04/14 11:09 PM
Avatar Image
4
1

  |  One Acre Farm  |  Morgan Hill, CA commented

We just identified an infestation of these bugs on our farm too. We’re down in Morgan Hill (near San Jose).

We had never seen them before and thought, at first, that they were immature harlequin bugs. They’ve already killed most of our bok choy, mizuna, rutabagas, and turnips; all of which were under floating row cover and/or insect netting and were still pretty small. The problem appears to be that they live in the soil, and they were probably there before we covered the rows. We are hoping to find some kind of control for them before they spread through our whole farm. We are thinking of using sticky traps (black ones supposedly work best, and we will also try yellow and green), and we are also considering solarizing the whole infestation area (covering it in the morning while they are still moving slowly) to hopefully kill them with heat and dehydration. This morning I also tried spraying them

... Read More
09/04/14 3:37 PM
Avatar Image

  |  Mariposa Nursery And Music  |  Santa Rosa, CA commented

I’ll bet there is something organic to take care of them all... Have you tried Neem, hot pepper, Thyme, Pyrethrum...?

09/04/14 9:43 AM
Avatar Image

  |    |  , commented

Hey Paul and others,

Just got a great resource recommendation from ATTRA's Rex Dufour with some additional info and resources on this pest new to Yolo County:

Thanks!
09/03/14 3:36 PM, updated

You must be logged in to post a comment. Log in or Join FarmsReach.