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Four-Lined Plant Bug

May 26, 1999

Four-lined plant bug nymphs are present on mint and various flowers throughout Illinois. Presently, these nymphs are red, roundish, and about the size of a pinhead in central Illinois. As they get older, they approach 1/4 inch long and are reddish with yellow and black markings. The 1/4-inch-long adult has four longitudinal black lines on its yellow or green back. The nymph and adult feed on leaves, creating brownish to black areas that may be small and round or large and irregularly shaped, depending on the host and the size of the population. Control on mint is problematic as there are very few labeled pesticides for this plant. Pruning out damaged leaves may be the only way to limit damage. Control on flowers and other ornamentals can be achieved with insecticidal soap and several other insecticides.

Author: Phil Nixon staff at The Morton Arboretum


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