Ligus bugs

Asked September 26, 2017, 7:29 PM EDT

I have a very heavy outbreak of ligus bugs. How do I get rid of them without spraying? What can I do next year to control them better?

Polk County Oregon

3 Responses

Lygus bugs are currently very numerous but, fortunately, treatment is seldom needed in home gardens. Their presence is more of a nuisance than anything else.

In order to suggest appropriate management, tell me which plants are damaged and how; when the problem started; and what treatments you have tried.

Also, please upload several images when you reply to this email. Three different images are required for an accurate diagnosis: (1) an image of a typical plant which has both healthy and damaged tissues; (2) a close view of a damaged section adjacent to a healthy one; and (3) a picture of the bugs.

I look forward to receiving your pictures.

I guess I have less of a problem in the garden than in the house.
They are coming in in droves hiding between pages of books, between plates in the cupboard and generally making piles of themselves in every nook and cranny everywhere. I'm hopeful to find a solution to their growing numbers and find a way to prevent them from accumulating. They particularity swarm on hot sunny days covering the outside sunny walls of my house, garage and shed. They cover everything in brown dots...
Birds just don't seem to be interested.
I'm looking for a organic method of control, or farming practice that I can implement.
I'm not one for spraying and have a lapsed organic certification that I would like to re-establish.
Any help would be very appreciated.

Thank you for your response.

Bottom line: The insects are not lygus bugs. My best guess as to what they might be are elm seed bugs. If you send me several pictures I should be able to verify that. At least two images would be helpful: one of a group of the bugs, either indoors or out, another as close as possible but in good focus.

In any event, these sound like the similar appearing elm seed bugs, one of several nuisance insects which gather on the warm side of the house during fall, and then migrate indoors through small cracks and crevices. The best management is to avoid pesticides of any kind (they're unlikely to help) and to block their entry. In general that means to seal all indoor cracks and crevices where they might be entering (but wait until July to plug/seal cracks outdoors) and, for those already indoors, use a household vacuum or, if they're especially numerous, a wet-dry shop vac.

Compare the insects with those in this publication, then let me know if we're on the right track: "Managing Elm Seed Bugs Around Your Home" (