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Monday, April 10, 2017

Traditional Pesticides to Control Leaf Footed Plant Bug

Q. I was just reading up on the leaf footed plant bug and came across this link:


Does this mean that bifenthrin is their top choice for chemical control? Is synthetic pyrethrin (what I am using now) the same or similar? I see that some Ortho products for lawn and garden contain bifenthrin. Could those be used to spray the almond and pistachio every 2-3 weeks until it gets hot (and early or late in the day when bees are not present).
Leaf footed plant bugs mating on pomegranate. Please don't stare!
Leaf footed plant bug on citrus
Leaf footed plant bug on edible prickly pear cactus, tunas and nopales
Leaf footed plant bug wee one, Highly enlarged, courtesy Auburn University

A. Good detective work. Yes, Bifenthrin is a synthetic pyrethrin or pyrethroid (the chemical name ends in -thrin) and it gives good control of leaf footed plant bug as does pyrethrin. Sevin insecticide also gives pretty good control but is also lethal on honeybees.


  • Highly toxic to bees so always spray either on a cloudy day (lots of luck here) or at dusk when bees have gone home. 
  • Protect yourself. It has a low toxicity to humans but it is still a poison. Protect your face mostly because it enters the body most easily through moist tissue (nose, mouth, ears, etc). Whatever you use, follow the label on when to respray and stop spraying the number of days it tells you for harvesting. 
Unfortunately this insect is not easily controlled since it has wings, can fly and come from or go to neighbors. They may be spending the winter as adults on evergreens on your property. Not pines but broadleaf evergreens like bottlebrush.

Its also really good at controlling home pests like cockroaches, black widows, scorpions, etc.

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