Subject: African Painted Beetle?
Location: Green Valley, CA 91390
August 16, 2012 3:00 pm
Has there been any breakthrough in eradicating these beetles? I am an organic gardener and have been infested with these bugs in my Salad bed. These little beasties seem to be particular to my lettuce, spinach, and beets which have fallen prey to them. However, I have yet to spot serious damage, the volume and reproduction of these are immense and will soon be overwhelming my little garden. Any suggestions?
Signature: Jenn Green

Mating African Painted Bugs

Hi Jenn,
When we first reported African Painted Bugs,
Bagrada hilaris, which are True Bugs and not Beetles, in our own garden back in 2009, we suspected that they might soon become a major agricultural threat in Southern California.  These tiny Stink Bugs reproduce at a prodigious rate, and nearly all adults can be found in flagrante delicto as your photo indicates.  These tiny Stink Bugs avoid capture by dropping to the ground and quickly escaping.  We eliminated them from our garden using drastic methods.  We pulled out all the plants upon which they were found feeding, which was kale and collards, leaving no close food source for them to feed upon.  We have found them in nearby open space feeding upon mustard which is also a member of the cabbage family.  African Painted Bugs feed on many plants in the cabbage family and that includes many forms of produce in home gardens.  We realize you do organic gardening, so we might suggest spraying the plants with a solution of water with a few drops of organic dish soap.  This might do the trick.  Good luck.  We still believe that once they are firmly established, the African Painted Bugs will wreak havoc on our California agricultural crops.  You may also get some helpful information from this LA Times Article on the African Painted Bugs.

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Location: California

5 Responses to African Painted Bugs

  1. queenofspades says:

    I just discovered that my collards are infested with these bugs. I sprayed them with Neem to no avail. I’m going to try a Pyrethin spray next as we have fleas as well as these bugs this year. Anyone have any ideas on how else to deal with them? It was suggested on one of the sites I read that Chrysantemums and Pyrthrum Daisies are preventative so I’ve obtained seed for these as well to companion plant in my garden.

  2. queenofspades says:

    BTW I’m a small urban organic farmer located in midcity Los Angeles 90019.

    • bugman says:

      Good luck with your eradication efforts. Perhaps one of our readers will be able to supply additional information. After our first outbreak in 2009, we did an effective job of ridding the garden using a hose and knocking them off the plants. They did not return and we have had no problem since.

  3. LuisJane says:

    try garlic , best greetings ~ Luis

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