Thursday, May 27, 2010

Attack of the Yucca Bugs

This year you many have noticed abundant numbers of yucca bugs, Haticotoma spp. (Hemiptera: Miridae), if you have yucca in your landscape. The adults are about ¼ inches in length with a red head and pronotum and grayish-black wings. The yucca bugs are usually found in large groups on the upper leaf surface and will tend to move quickly when disturbed. The immature stage or nymphal stage (those without wings), will also be present on the leaves. The yucca bugs have piercing sucking mouthparts so their feeding causes small pale spots or blotches on leaf surfaces where the green chlorophyll has been removed.
Some control options for the immature stage include insecticidal soap or pyrethrins. Systemic insecticide products, such as those containing acephate, dinotefuran or imidacloprid, are also effective for control of these bugs.

Haticotoma (Hemiptera: Miridae) species on yucca. Photo by Bart Drees, Professor and Extension Entomologist, Texas A&M University.