The Sour Truth about Lygus Bugs in Strawberries

Lygus Hesperus, or lygus bugs, can devastate your strawberry crops. If you grow strawberries, you are aware of the severe impact an infestation can have on your harvest, livelihood, and the local economy. At JH Biotech, Inc., we are here to help you identify the symptoms of lygus infestations to allow you to focus on growing the tastiest and freshest strawberries that the world loves.

Lygus infestation is destructive at any stage and volume. As lygus bugs grow into nymphs and adults, they become fluid feeders. Their mode of attack involves toxic saliva that seeps into the plant and releases digestive enzymes, which causes cell death. This can significantly damage all parts of the plant. When lygus bugs feed on developing flowers and fruit, it can create deformed, “cat-faced” fruit.

There are no exceptions to this havoc, as seeds are also affected. The seed structures start to die, begin to shrivel, and might not germinate. Some seeds start to turn brown, black, or yellow. This may potentially lead to creating immature and injured seed pods. Moderate feeding still raises concerns, as it can cause premature buds to shed, create deformed seeds, and reduce seed viability.

While lygus bugs can wreak havoc on strawberries, they also can infect and destroy over 350 different plants, which is why our researchers are currently working on a sustainable solution to control these infestations. Trials are ongoing, but there are exciting results you do not want to miss.