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Rutherglen bugs

There have been further reports of Rutherglen bugs (Nysius vinitor) observed in several crops across the South West Slopes and Plains district of New South Wales. Rutherglen bugs attack a wide range of crops and weeds including canola, lucerne, wheat, sunflowers, safflowers, linseed and sorghum. Although they are more common in spring, high infestations under favourable autumn conditions can cause cupping of leaves and retardation of emerging seedlings. Like all true bugs they have sucking and piercing mouthparts, and damage is similar to that caused by aphids.

Adults are 4 mm long and grey-brown in colour with clear wings folded flat on their back. Nymphs are wingless and have a dark red, pear-shaped body. Rutherglen bugs can be controlled by removing weeds they use as hosts and by ploughing a deep furrow around the crop, which prevents wingless individuals migrating from weeds.

Click here for images of Rutherglen bugs and refer to PestFacts Issue No. 3 for more information.

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