Insect identification > Hemiptera > Cotton stainer

Cotton stainer

The cotton stainer ( H. S.) feeds on cotton, and occasionally the eggplant and orange among cultivated crops. On oranges it attacks the fruit about the time it is ripening, puncturing the skin and thus hastening decay.

On cotton the insect punctures the partly developed bolls and if the attack is severe these may be destroyed. If not, the fibre is more or less stained, apparently from the punctures in the seeds, reducing the value of the cotton anywhere from 5 to 50 per cent.

As the bugs develop in colonies and remain close together for some time and in their early stages are red, they are easily located and knocked off into dishes. In fall and spring they are attracted to baits, of either cottonseed or sugar cane, where they can be killed.

The bugs also feed and breed freely on Hibiscus and the Spanish cocklebur, and the destruction of these plants near cotton fields will prevent their breeding there and spreading in larger numbers to the cotton.