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Harlequin Bug

Murgantia histrionica


This is a true bug that is oval in shape and black in color with yellowish orange and white markings. It is approximately a little less than an inch in length.


Harlequin bugs can be found throughout North America, but are found mostly in southern states. Host plants include: horseradish, cabbage, cauliflower, mustard, turnip, kale, and broccoli to name a few.


This cool bug was spotted by students during a trip to the school garden. We were not sure what it was at first, but after some research we discovered why the garden cabbage was devoured...Harlequin bugs! The one pictured above is an adult. They can cause quite a bit of damage to a variety of crops especially cabbage. Fun Facts: These bugs reproduce quickly. Females can lay up to 149 eggs! Here are some helpful organic control tips if you find these bugs in your garden. Tip 1. Plant "trap" crops. Trap crops are planted prior to your main crop. In your early crop plant other host plants of the Harlequin bug. Harvest and discard the first crop prior to planting your main crop. Tip 2. Cover your plants with a lightweight pervious fabric to keep the bugs out! Tip 3. Spray plants with Kaolin spray to prevent bugs from feeding on plants. Wash upon harvesting. Ref:

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San Antonio, Texas, USA

Spotted on May 20, 2019
Submitted on Jun 19, 2019

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