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Common green capsid (Lygocoris pabulinus (Linnaeus))

Adult common green capsid

Capsid damage

Capsid damage to red Charles Ross fruit

Common green capsid is a widespread and abundant readily recognised  insect and, in some years, is an important pest of apple and pear.

The life cycle involves overwintering as eggs inserted by adults into the tender shoots of woody plants in the autumn. Rootstock sucker growths, especially at the edges of orchards where the pest is usually most abundant, often harbour the pest and should be removed in winter.

Apple and pear orchards should be inspected for the pest or signs of damage at the late blossom stage of apple. At least 25 trees per orchard should be examined for signs of damage.


A spray of an approved insecticide should be applied promptly at petal fall if damaging infestations are detected.

  • Thiacloprid (Calypso) applied for control of rosy apple aphid at this stage will  control capsids as well as other petal fall pests including apple sawfly.
  • A full approval for spirotetramat (Batavia) on apples for the control of sucking insect pests will offer some control of common green capsid, but growers may prefer to reserve its use for more difficult to control pests such as woolly aphid or rosy apple aphid. It must be applied after flowering and works best when pests are moving from brown wood to green tissue. It will prevent population build-up but does not offer pest ‘knockdown’.
  • Several other novel insecticides recently approved for control of aphids on apple and/or pear in the UK may have useful activity against capsid bugs including acetamiprid (Gazelle), flonicamid (Mainman) and pyrethrins (Spruzit, Pyrethrum 5 EC).






Insecticides approved for use on apple that are recommended to control or are likely to offer incidental control of capsids, when applied to control other pests.

Choice of insecticides – efficacy factors

Active ingredient Trade name (examples) Class1 Selectivity Approved for control of Safety to Typhs 
acetamiprid Gazelle neonicotinoid partially selective Aphids safe
deltamethrin Decis etc. pyrethroid broad spectrum Aphids, apple sucker, capsids, codling & tortrix moths, sawfly harmful
flonicamid Mainman feeding blocker aphicide selective Aphids safe
pyrethrins Spruzit, Pyrethrum 5 EC extract from pyrethrrum Broad-spectrum Aphids, apple blossom weevil, catepillars, scale insects, spider mites harmful
spirotetramat Batavia tetramic acid derivative selective Sucking insect pests unclassified
thiacloprid Calypso chloro-nicotinyl broad-spectrum, systemic Rosy apple aphid. (Also likely to control capsids, sawfly and weevils, though not caterpillars or woolly aphid) safe

Choice of insecticides – Safety factors

Read and fllow label before applying any sprays

  Hazards3 Harvest interval(days)  Max. no. sprays Buffer zoneWidth (m)
Anticholin-esterase?  Humans Fish & aquatic life Bees
acetamiprid no u t u 14 2 20
deltamethrin no h, i ed d 7 u 50
flonicamid no u h u 21 3 sm
pyrethrins no h,i ed d 0 or 1 – Varies with product Varies with product 50
spirotetramat no h,i t d Start of ripening 2 sm
thiacloprid no h, i ed h 14 2 30
h=harmful, i=irritant, d=dangerous, ed=extremely dangerous, t=toxic, c=closed cab required for air assisted sprayers, u=uncategorised/unclassified/unspecified


Control in organic orchards

Greater emphasis should be placed on cultural and biological control methods in organic orchards.

  • Pyrethrins (Spruzit, Pyrethrum 5 EC) is approved for use in organic orchards but permission should be sought from certification bodies before use.
  • It is of short persistence and probably of limited activity.
  • One or more sprays should be directed against the pest shortly before and/or shortly after blossom.
  • Pyrethrins is harmful to the orchard predatory mite Typhlodromus pyri, so use in organic orchards should be avoided if possible.
  • Neem extract does have an effect and is used in other European countries for control in organic orchards.


Further reading