October 5, 2013

Bagrada Found in Eastern Fresno County

 By Patrick Cavanaugh, Editor
Michael Yang, a UC Cooperative Extension Fresno County ag assistant specializing in small farms operated by Hmong Farmers, said a farmer who had a mustard plant infested with a bug called him out. “The farmer in Eastern Fresno County wanted to know what he could spray to kill the bugs,” Yang said.

He said that hundreds of the insects were infesting the mustard plant—a favored host of the pest.

Bagrada Bugs are often seen in the mating activity.

“I did some research and it looked like the pest was the Bagrada bug. So, we we bagged part of the plant with the bugs and sent them to the Fresno County’s Ag Commissioner office. They forwarded the sample to the CDFA in Sacramento, and CDFA confirmed that it was the Bagrada bug,” said Yang. 

Yang noted the low rainfall this year left the foothills dry and many insects started coming into the lush fields grown by Asian famers.

According to UC IPM, Bagrada bug, Bagrada hilaris, is an invasive stinkbug spreading through western Arizona and southern California since 2008, causing severe crop, nursery, and landscape losses. Bagrada bugs gather on plants in large groups. In agriculture, Bagrada bug is a pest of cole crops and other mustard family plants.

Growers are asked to alert their county UC Farm Advisor if they see Bagrada bugs in their fields, as it is a new pest in Fresno County. The pest has been widely observed in southern California Counties and more recently in Monterey County.

There are several pest control products that are registered and effective on the pest. Growers should contact their pest control advisor for advice.

Below is a link to a video with more information on the Bagrada bug

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