What insects are infecting our lemon tree and vegie patch?

These are all over the leaves, fruit, trunk of the lemon tree and if we hose them off, they crawl up the trunk again. They appeared 2 days ago in the very hot weather in Canberra. How do we get rid of them. It looks like they are stinging or laying eggs in the lemons as many have now got very small black spots on them. More/larger photos in this album. https://picasaweb.google.com/104779027862947223273/LemonTreeBugs06Jan2013

yates

06 January 2013 04:38 AM

Hi Russ,

These creatures are called Soldier Beetles. They gather in swarms on flowering trees to attack any insect attracted to the nectar. The adults are important predators of aphids. Tthey themselves are minor pollinators. The only damage they tend to do is to interfere with pollination. They will not do any damage to your lemon tree or the fruit. Usually they will disappear of their own accord.

Topics: Fruit and Citrus Issues: Pests