Bagrada Bug No Big Issue

Bagrada bug.
Paul Wellman

Last year, organic farmers freaked out when it became apparent that the bagrada bug had arrived, just a couple years after the African stink bug had first appeared in Los Angeles. This year, the bug, which munches on broccoli, kale, and other cole greens with potentially devastating effects, is back again — with evidence suggesting a spread as far north as the Salinas Valley — but far fewer people are worried. “They’re around, but it’s a completely different story from last year,” said Brian Cabrera, the County of Santa Barbara’s entomologist. “It’s been pretty quiet.” He believes that’s because people expected the return and now know how to deal with it; conventional farmers simply use insecticide to kill the bugs, while organic home gardeners can use an insecticidal soap on the nymphs.

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