- Author: Tina Saravia
For a number of summers, I've been fighting a battle with harlequin bugs (Murgantia histrionica) in my garden. Harlequin bugs are nasty stink bugs that suck the juice off the leaves of my precious tree collards, leaving them with yellow blotches.
Last year, I was especially vigilant (and I had a lot of time with everything closed down) squashing and drowning in water every single harlequin bug, in every stage.
I showed no mercy.
I was thrilled when summer rolled in and no orange, armored bugs. I was proud to donate 17 pounds of perfect, succulent leaves to the Solano/Contra Costa Food Bank.
Then August came, the battle began again. They were on every single tree collard. They're even on the lone 2 foot tall perennial ‘Pentland Brig' kale. When I try to squeeze them, some of the adults fly off to a neighboring leaf or plant, just out of my reach. I tried every tactic I know and read about in the UC IPM website.
On several occasions, I've almost accidentally squashed a ladybug, thinking it was my nemesis.