Bronze orange stink bugs can be a real pest for your citrus in spring and summer. They will land on the new growth and suck the sap from the leaves. This will cause the new growth to droop and eventually die off. This can slow the growth of your plant and even stop it from setting fruit.
I have had a huge influx of bronze orange bugs this year due to the mild summer and high humidity. They can fly in and out of your yard and breed rapidly. The adult bugs are dark brown or black while the young bugs are bright orange so easy to see.
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Bronze orange stink bugs will attack all citrus but will always make their way to the new growth. They will sit on the stems, breed and lay their eggs.
Bronze orange stink bugs will excrete a strong smell substance when they are disturbed which is where they get their name from. This is to deter predators but also smells terrible to us.
Always wear eye protection, gloves and long sleeves when dealing bronze orange bugs if you are getting close because their excretions can irritate the skin.
This article will explore how to control stink bugs naturally. I have tried all of these ways with great success.
1. Squirt the bugs off with a hose
The first step to control bronze orange bugs on citrus is to squirt them off with a hose. Use the sprayer nozzle on your hose set to the jet setting. This will spray a small amount of water under a lot of pressure. This will be enough to squirt the bronze orange bugs off the tree.
Squirting the bugs off the tree will not kill them. They often fly off to another area or end up on the ground. You can squish them with your boot or leave them to be on the ground.
There is the chance that the bugs will return to the tree once. This method works with a small number of bronze orange bugs. If you have more than 4-5 bronze orange bugs, then try the next method.
2. Shake bronze orange bugs into a bucket of detergent
The next natural way to deal with bronze orange stink bugs is to shake them into a bucket of detergent. Just add cold water and normal household detergent to the bucket. Wear gloves, long sleeves and eye protection and shake the branch to remove the bugs. Hold the bucket under the branch to catch the bugs.
If you notice that bronze orange bugs are starting to breed on your tree then it is time for the next control method below.
3. Spray bronze orange bugs with Neem Oil
Once populations of stink bugs have started to grow and are causing damage to your citrus it is time to use Neem Oil. Neem Oil is made from the extracted oil from the seeds of the Neem tree. This is harmful to sap sucking insects including stink bugs.
Here are the steps below to treat citrus trees with neem oil to remove bronze orange bugs.
Purchase neem oil from a garden center or online
Neem oil comes in small containers because it is highly concentrated. A very small amount goes a long way. It is likely that one bottle will last you for years. I like to buy a small container to have on hand in case bugs get out of hand.
Check out neem oil on Amazon here. This one comes with a spray bottle included.
Mix the Neem oil in a spray bottle
Get a spray bottle that is going to be only for Neem oil. That way you can have it mixed and ready for when stink bug populations get out of hand. Label the bottle so you remember what it is used for and always store it out of reach of kids and pets.
Mix neem oil with water
Follow the instructions on the back of the bottle to dilute the neem oil to the correct concentration. For a small bottle like mine it only took a few drops of neem oil to make up the amount I needed. This amount allowed me to apply 3-4 applications to my 3 citrus trees.
Spray on the new growth
Spray neem oil on the new growth of your citrus trees. These will be the areas that stink bugs will target first. Make sure you cover the whole leaf and the stems. Do this when the weather is cool and there is no sign of rain. Rain will wash the neem oil off quickly so it is best to wait for the weather to dry.
Repeat after a week
You will need to repeat the application of the neem oil each week until the bugs have disappeared. It only took me 2-3 applications to get rid of a large population of bronze orange bugs this year. My orange tree had at least 20 bronze orange bugs on the stems before I applied the neem oil.
How to Control Bronze Orange Stink Bugs on Citrus Naturally | Summary
Control bronze orange stink bugs on citrus by squirting them off with a hose, shake them into a bucket with detergent or spray them with neem oil. Always wear eye protection, gloves and long sleeves when you are dealing with stink bugs because their excretions will smell and can irritate the skin. All of these natural methods of controlling stink bugs will not harm local wildlife or any plants in your garden.