The Q&A Archives: Stinkbugs on turnip and mustard greens

Question: I love my turnip and mustard greens, but I have these little green stinkbugs on the leaves. What should I do? Orpha Jacobs Yulee, FL

Answer: You don't mention whether the stinkbugs are actually damaging the leaves and I suspect they won't. The best course is to leave the bugs alone unless you're sure they are harming the plants, says Jim Stephens, vegetable specialist at the Universityof Florida in Gainesville. Stinkbugs are mostly a problem on fruit bearing crops such as squash and tomatoes and usually not a problem on greens, he explains. If you really don't like them congregating on the leaves, knock them off with a water spray. It's crucial to assign damage to the proper insect. For example, if your turnip leaves are curling, especially when young, then the real problem is probably aphids, which are often hidden beneath the leaves. Aphids can be controlled with sprays of insecticidal soap every three to four days, says Stephens.

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