How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Seasonal development and life cycle—Lygus bugs

Lygus bugs overwinter as adults in plant debris, in crowns of plants, and in uncultivated areas adjacent to the garden. Their favored overwintering hosts are alfalfa, yellow starthistle, Russian thistle, wild radish, sweet clover, wild mustard, lupine, and vetch.

Adults mate in spring when the weather warms up and lay eggs on a wide range of broadleaf plants. Eggs are inserted into plant tissues flush with the tissue surface. They hatch in 1 to 4 weeks, depending on temperature, and there are five nymphal instars. The first four instars require 2 to 7 days each, and the fifth instar requires 4 to 10 days. Newly emerged females begin laying eggs in about 10 days. There are three to four overlapping generations each year.

Lygus bug nymph
Lygus bug nymphs

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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