Green vegetable (veggie) bug








Nezara viridula

Southern green stink bug (USA), Southern green shield bug (UK)


This is a type of “shield bug”, so called because of the shape of their body. Shield bugs are also referred to as “stink bugs” because of the horrible liquid they emit when threatened. Adults are bright green, shield shaped and have a hard elytra (wing casings). They have three white spots just below their shoulders. In slightly cooler areas the adults become a dirty purple colour as they go through winter. The nymphs are more rounded and start off orange and brown. Later nymphs are black with white and orange markings, gradually becoming greener with each instar.

Adult size: 12 mm

Out and about

Most numerous over summer. Thought to have originated in Africa, it is now found globally in all tropical, subtropical and warmer temperate zones and throughout Australia, especially on the east coast.

Reproduction and Life cycle

Eggs are laid in rafts from 20 to as many as 150 and nymphs will get to adult stage in 5 to 6 weeks. The adults will overwinter coming out again in spring. The nymphs go through a number of instars before their last moult as an adult.

To deter

To control

A good stage to target them is in the early nymph stages when their bodies are much softer and they are more vulnerable. Adults have much tougher bodies so applying something they ingest works on them. - Pyrethrum spray - Neem oil - Garlic and chilli spray may help to deter them - Soap spray - Diatomaceous earth on nymphs - Keep weeds down

Plants to repel

Plants to attract


Assassin bugs / Birds / Parasitoid wasps
Why they are a Pest
They have piercing and sucking mouth parts and they attack the developing fruit. This causes it to become misshapen and dry as it grows, resulting in poor quality produce. As there are usually a lot of them around they can cause quite a lot of damage. They are common on legumes and we have had them on our tomatoes.