Have you noticed any unusual true bugs in your broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, arugula, radish, or mustard?
The bagrada bug was first detected in California during 2008, and has subsequently spread to Arizona and New Mexico. The mature adults are less than 1/4 of an inch in size and are orange and black. Large numbers of adults have been confused with immature harlequin bugs or adult multicolored ladybird beetles.
As harvesting or pest monitoring of crucifer crops in north and central Florida may still be occurring, look for and report suspected samples of Bagrada bug. It is currently not known to be established in Florida. If it is detected in Florida, researchers and extension specialists will need to be immediately informed as Florida-specific management recommendations have not been developed.
The immediate damage reports that occurred when Bagrada bug hit the news in Arizona warrants a concern for vigilance in scouting and reporting for Florida’s producers. In a May 2010 report of the Western Farm Press ( http://westernfarmpress.com/management/bagrada-bug-back-2010 ) regarding the invasion of Bagrada bug in Arizona, Dr. John Palumbo of the University of Arizona indicated that conventional cole crop damage was approximately at the 25% level while organic producers were seeing almost 50% damage.
You can report suspected Bagrada bug samples to your local county extension office (http://solutionsforyourlife.ufl.edu/map/ )
You can also contact Lyle Buss email@example.com or 352-273-3933 at the University of Florida Insect Identification Lab (http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/InsectID/index.html ). The Insect Identification Lab hours are Monday-Friday (8am-12pm, 1pm-5pm), excluding University of Florida holidays.
A Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry Pest Alert on Bagrada Bug is available at: http://www.freshfromflorida.com/pi/pest-alerts/pdf/bagrada-bug-pest-alert.pdf
A UF-IFAS Featured Creatures on the Harlequin Bug is available at: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/veg/leaf/harlequin_bug.htm
Information on the distribution of Bagrada bug in California is available at: http://cisr.ucr.edu/bagrada_bug.html