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lemon tree bugs 
6th-Oct-2008 06:31 pm
glass
I have a dilemma I'm hoping you can help with. I have a lovely healthy lemon tree in my backyard I am hoping to get fruit from this summer. It has been flowering wonderfully, but I have noticed there are some weird looking bugs on it. They look kind of flat and they seem to be sucking something from the tiny little lemon nodules. I am hoping their presence isn't going to be detrimental to my lemon harvest, but if it is, and I need to remove them from my tree, I am hoping to know of a way to do this without harming them (I don't want to kill them).
Can anyone advise?

x-posted to organic garden/ vegan people
Comments 
6th-Oct-2008 09:08 am (UTC)
http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/image/0018/137043/bronze-orange-bug.jpg

that is what they are. I do not really want them to inhibit my harvest, but I'm not sure how to move them on their way without killing them organic garden peeps suggested different methods of killing them *yikes!* this would be an absolute last resort (actually, I would probably let them just take the lemons rather than kill them)
6th-Oct-2008 10:07 am (UTC)
Sometimes you can find something natural to spray on the tree/plant. For example, our squash/pumpkins had some sort of a fungus that grew on them and we were able to slow it down by spritzing the leaves with a mixture of water and I think it was vinegar. Eventually the plants all still succumbed to the disease but we slowed it down enough to get pumpkins, butternut squash, and cucumbers before the plants all died. The trouble is figuring out what you could use that would also be natural (since you surely wouldn't want lemons that had chemicals sprayed on them).
I think the only alternative to killing the bugs is picking them off, putting them in some sort of huge container, and then taking them away from your yard. Then you would have to be careful about where you put them because if your neighbors have lemon trees too, they would probably be mad that you introduced a pest into their yards - or even worse, if the things got loose in some sort of park or someplace and ruined the natural 'system' of life. Which is not to say that I agree with killing them, just that it can get tricky. Maybe a school would want them as pets? :)
6th-Oct-2008 07:46 pm (UTC)
They look nasty!!!

I would have no idea, have never seen that insect in NZ, so can't help. Although my google-fu did say they are stink bugs, but I think our version of stink bugs in NZ are different. The only NZ site I can find with reference to the bronze orange bug is the MAF site (they deal with biosecurity) and are on the list of pests that should not enter the country, as they like citrus plants.

I'm luckily enough to have the patience to pick each insect up and put it somewhere else. Or I use companion planting as a method to repel insects I don't want on my plants. But I wouldn't know what plants you could put next to your lemon tree to help repel them naturally. It does say on the www.greenharvest.com.au page for the bugs that pyrethrum as a natural repellent, so you could perhaps grow some Chrysanthemum around your lemon tree, as they nautrally emit pyrethrums from the flowers and leaves. That way you are not killing the bugs, but they will just go somewhere else :-)
7th-Oct-2008 12:37 am (UTC)
hey awesome! I actually planted some daisys (a type of pyrethrum, I think) a couple of weeks back, so hopefully they will be in full flower by next year. thx!
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