Florida cole crop growers should watch out for bagrada bugs

04/06/2013 01:34:00 PM
Vicky Boyd

bagrada bugBagrada bugsIf you grow broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, collars, arugula, radish or mustard in Florida, be on the lookout for a new pest—the bagrada bug.

The true bug was first detected in California in 2008 and has spread to Arizona and New Mexico, according to a University of Florida announcement.

Mature adults are less than 1/4 inch long and are orange and black. They may be confused with immature harlequin bugs or adult multi-colored ladybird beetles.

The pest has yet to be found in Florida, but it's only a matter of time, entomologists say.

The pest has caused about 25 percent damage to cole crops in conventional fields in Arizona and almost 50 percent in organic fields.

Report suspected bagrada bugs to your local county Extension office or Lyle Buss at the University of Florida, jlbuss@ufl.edu or (352) 273-3933.

For more information on bagrada bugs, visit Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

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