Cotton - Lygus bugs

Description

Adults look like small cockroaches and are brownish or greenish in color with brown blotched areas on the : back. The eggs are buried in the plant tissue and take 8 days to hatch. There are four nymphal instars each looking increasingly like small adults, Lygus bugs use their proboscis to pierce young, developing cotton tissues.

Damage

Lygus is widely reported as a serious problem in early/mid-season,, attacking both developing leaf and fruit buds.

They suck the buds, bolls, young stalks and leaves. Damaged leaves have numerous lesions, squares eventually drop, buds and young bolls are stunted. Damaged bolls develop reddish-brown specks and shiny excrement spots, while small bolls turn yellow and drop. In severe infestations, the internodes are elongated and the plants shoot up.

Life cycle

Eggs are laid in stalks and buds, but tissue around the puncture does not perish. After 8 days the first nymphal stages are produced and these pass through five ecdyses during the next 15-20 days before becoming to adults which live for about 40 days.