Leaffooted Bugs Affecting California Almonds

Western Farm Press. 20 March 2012.  The leaffooted bug is an elusive insect that can cause a great deal of damage in almonds if left unchecked. For the past two years, pressure from the leaffooted bug has been high.  The leaffooted bug builds its population in crops or weeds adjacent to almond orchards before moving into almond trees in March and April. Once in the orchard, it then searches for nuts on which to feed.

The leaffooted bug attacks young nuts whose shells have not had a chance to harden, causing the embryo to abort. Alternatively, it may cause internal gumming, which manifests itself as a bump or gumming on the shell and can lead to nut drop.

While both leaffooted bugs and stink bugs feed on almonds with needlelike mouth parts and can cause gumming on the shell, damage from leaffooted bugs usually occurs in March or April, while stink bug damage usually occurs later in the spring.  An effective treatment program is critical to protecting crops — and yield — from leaffooted bugs and stink bugs.  read more