Sacramento Bee readers share their gardening adventures.
Watch out for these colorful characters. This invasion was spotted at Bill Bean Jr. Park Community Garden in south Sacramento. Hundreds of these stink bugs had covered Chinese cabbage, tat soi and other Asian greens, planted en masse in two plots.
"The insects are harlequin bugs, a type of stink bug (family Pentatomidae)," according to Orangevale master gardener and retired entomologist Baldo Villegas. "They are a pest of cole crops in the family Brassicaceae, but I have seen them also in numbers in a few other plants."
Cole crops include cabbages, broccoli, kale and several other popular veggies.
"They have sucking mouthparts and they can do considerable damage especially when you see lots of them," Villegas said. "The barrel-shaped eggs are laid in groups and they usually hatch in groups as well."
What to do?
"A quick-acting insecticide listed for the veggie garden would take care of them easily," he said. "You can also gather them in a bucket of soapy water and be done with them. This is usually what I do."
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