Four-lined plant bugs feed on about 250 species of plants and are most commonly seen on:
- Herbaceous perennials - chrysanthemum, Chinese lantern, Liatris and Shasta daisy
- Herbs - Mint and Basil
- Woody ornamentals - Azalea, Dogwood, Forsythia, Viburnum, Amur maple, and Sumac
- Flowering annuals - Zinnia and Marigold
- Berries - Currant and Gooseberry
- Vegetables – peppers
Both adults and nymphs can injure plants. They inflict damage by piercing the leaves with their mouthparts and removing the chlorophyll. Damage is usually not severe enough to cause plant death, but it can disfigure the plant for the growing season.
This feeding produces white, dark, or translucent spots 1/16 to 1/8 in. in diameter on the plant's leaves, which can merge together (if there is substantial damage) forming large blotches. Severe feeding can cause brown leaves. As well as new growth may wilt.
The bugs have one generation per season, and their development from eggs to adults occurs over just a few weeks in the spring.
Look for insects in late May and early June. Only use pesticides if there are high numbers.
- Keep your garden weeded
- Insecticidal Soap - Effective against nymphs.
- Pyrethrins - Contact killer for both adults and nymphs.
- Remove damaged annuals and vegetables in the fall to prevent overwintering of pests.