Capsid bugs can easily spoil the appearance and displays of many different plants. They give the leaves a tattered and distorted appearance and can even cause flower buds to abort.
Capsid bugs are nasty little green insects about 6mm long with six long legs and antennae. They love the tips of young shoots and have wide tastes, attacking a wide range of plants, including roses, fuchsias, hydrangeas, forsythia, chrysanthemums and even currant bushes.
Some species have a more specific host range, such as the apple capsid.
Look out for them any time from late spring onwards. Capsids suck the sap from the shoot tips of leaves and buds. As if that weren’t bad enough they also leave behind their poisonous saliva, which kills the young plant cells.
Young leaves become distorted and develop small holes, which become bigger and more tattered as the leaf expands and grows. Young buds are misshapen and, especially in the case of fuchsias, are killed off.
Treatment and control
Unlike most other sap-sucking insects, which are sedentary, capsid bugs can move around much more freely. This makes their control quite difficult.
Treat affected plants with a suitable and approved insecticide.