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Pests & Diseases > Crusader bugs

Crusader bugs suck sap from tops of seedlings and the top of the plant dies. Shoot tips wilt due to piercing-sucking action of the bugs The remains of the plant usually recover and grow bushy. 

This is not an issue for shrubs but will destroy the shape for trees. Crusaders don't hang around long - act when seen to minamalise the damage.

Image source: http://www.fzi.uni-freiburg.de/InsectPestKey-long%20version/damsign.htm 

Cause

The seedlings are a food source for the bugs. 

Image Source http://www.padil.gov.au/pests-and-diseases/Pest/Main/136114/6730 

Prevention

Check daily. Watch your seedlings for signs as well as the insects themselves. 

Cure

Remove by hand (wear gloves) and drown in a mixture of water with some kerosene added or spray with dimethoate. Or use a solution of diluted dishwashing liquid or pyrethrum to spray.

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