Bugs (Coconut bugs, <i>Helopeltis</i> bugs, stink bugs)
Adult coconut bugs (Pseudotheraptus wayi) are brown in colour and 10 to 15 mm long. Nymphs are red brown to green brown in colour and have long antenna. The adults and nymphs of the coconut bug feed on young and mature avocado fruit. Bug feeding causes necrotic bruise-like depressions. A hard lump develops, which can be easily removed when the fruit is peeled.
Helopeltis bugs also known as tea mosquito or mired bug are slender, delicate bugs, about 7- 10 mm long and have long legs and antenna. The females are red and the males are brown to yellowish red. The bugs prefer to feed on young plant tissue piercing the shoots, stems, leaves peduncles, petioles and fruits. Their feeding causes brown necrotic patches. Attacked leaves present angular lesion, which often drop out leaving holes as it attacked by biting insects. Feeding on young shoots causes dieback of the shoots. Feeding on fruits causes first a dark water-soaked mark around the feeding puncture, turning into a lesion with a light brown centre and black edge. The fruit may exude sap that forms a whitish deposit as it dries.
Stink bugs are shield-shaped bugs variable in size (6 to 15 mm long) and colour (green to brown or reddish brown). They emit a characteristic unpleasant odour when disturbed. They usually feed on the developing fruit. The feeding punctures cause local necrosis resulting in fruit spotting, and deformation.
- Conserve natural enemies. Weaver ants in particular, are efficient predators of bugs in the coastal areas of East Africa.