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Rutherglen bugs

Rutherglen bugs (Nysius vinitor) have been found in several paddocks that contained fleabane during early autumn. This includes a report from consultant, Neil Durning (AGnVET), who found Rutherglen bug nymphs causing damage to a cotyledon canola crop near Coolamon, in the Riverina district of New South Wales. The Rutherglen bugs appear to have moved into the crop from a neighbouring paddock containing fleabane that was windrowed. In the some parts of the paddock, Neil says 3-4 bugs could be seen on each seedling plant. In the most heavily infested areas, the canola has been severely damaged; in some cases entire seedlings have been eaten back to the stem. A synthetic pyrethroid spray was used to prevent further damage, and to date this has proven successful. The neighbouring paddock has also been targeted with sprays.

Rutherglen bugs are often found in paddocks that have had summer weeds especially an abundance of goosefoot and fleabane. Swarms of the bugs often move out from under weed plants when they are disturbed. In winter, activity of adults and late-stage nymphs is relatively low. Numbers will increase again in spring when breeding recommences.

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