Cottonseed Bug








Oxycarenus luctuosus

Coon bug / Chinch bug


The adult is black and white in appearance with black markings on clear wings. They are very similar to the smaller minute pirate bug which is only 2.5 mm. The nymphs are red.

Adult size: 4 mm

Out and about

Being seed eaters they appear when the seeds have formed and at times when plants are fruiting, usually around autumn and into winter but they are about at other times. Oxycarenus luctuosus is an Australian species whereas most species of Oxycarenus come from Africa with the species O. hyalinipennis being more widespread throughout southern Europe and tropical and subtropical Asia. In Australia it is found mainly in Queensland but some isolated occurrences in other states.

Reproduction and Life cycle

They have a life cycle of about 4 weeks from egg to adult, with the adult s living for about 4 months. There can be 4 to 7 generations within the year.

To deter

To control

- Pyrethrum spray - Neem oil - Garlic and chilli spray may help to deter them - Soap spray - Diatomaceous earth on nymphs - Keep weeds down - Vacuuming the bugs off the tree

Plants to repel

Plants to attract


Why they are a Pest
These bugs feed on seeds and fruit of hibiscus, cotton and other plants in the malvaceous family eg weed marshmallow. They could be a threat to rosella and okra plants as these are part of the hibiscus family. They can also cause damage to stone fruit by sucking the sap of young fruit. This can cause the fruit to shrivel up or ooze a sticky liquid resulting in dried discoloured patches on the fruit. Crops attacked includes figs, cherries, raspberries, apricot peaches and plums They have a tendency to swarm and are therefore usually present in large numbers.