Almond Matters: Managing Leaffooted Plant Bugs in Orchards

Brian GermanAlmond Matters, Almonds, News from our Sponsors

In today’s Almond Matters, brought to you by Valent U.S.A., leaffooted plant bugs have become even more problematic in recent years. Field Market Development Specialist with Valent U.S.A., Todd Burkdoll said the pest has become more challenging due to some materials no longer being available to growers.

“They can do a lot of damage; especially if you’re in close proximity to pomegranates. I would say you need some type of prevention to take them out before they take your crop out,” said Burkdoll. “If you’re not doing something for orchard sanitation or some type of broad-spectrum application, they’re there and they’ll move out of those pomegranates onto tree fruit, onto almonds, and pistachios.”

After overwintering in areas like pomegranate orchards, the pests come out to feed and reproduce once the weather warms up. The insects have a proboscis that they use to penetrate fruit and extract the juices from inside. “Typically, it doesn’t develop right, and you’ll see a little oozing later on. The tree reacts to it. But the nut itself has been damaged already,” Burkdoll explained.

Scouting is key for controlling leaffooted plant bugs. They will typically appear in spring and due to their size, can be easy to identify. While some products have been prohibited for the control of the pest, Burkdoll explained there are other effective materials available.

“Danitol is my go-to product. I like the results of Danitol but Belay is also a very good product. It’s both contact and systemic. So, it works with two different methods there,” said Burkdoll. “Danitol is a broad-spectrum pyrethroid. It’s a pretty hot pyrethroid and it’s got activity on a whole bunch of different arthropod pests including spiders and whatnot. So, it’s a double-barrel shotgun. You can use those two in combination in a program or individually as a go-to product for killing the pest.”

Listen to the report below.