How can I eliminate Bronze Orange (stink) Bugs from my citrus trees? I know that spraying the trees with Confidor will get rid of these bugs, however I've been told that it's not suitable to use on citrus, especially when bearing fruit. Is there another spray I can use?

EDIT: My location is SE Queensland, in Australia. See map below

Adult Bronze Orange Bug

Juvenile Bronze Orange Bug

enter image description here

  • 1
    I found advice on using soap spray on these. It helps here for a few true bugs. But it doesn't often kill them. A vacuum or net to pick them up after they've fallen may help. Also, I had squash bugs that died when I ground up nasturtiums in water in a blender (the whole plants, not the flowers) and sprayed the filtered result on them. Nasturtiums are supposed to deter them, but it never worked, so I tried this. I did not post this as an answer as I don't have these bugs here! Commented Nov 23, 2015 at 21:51
  • Thanks for the tips @EricDeloak. So far my only option has been hand removal, so anything is worth a try.
    – Adam
    Commented Nov 23, 2015 at 22:55
  • Here we have box elder bugs (just a nuisance really) and people will use a tank sprayer with soap water (look up directions) and they drop. You can get a large distance spray with this method. Then they sweep or vacuum them up. A tarp under the tree could help you get most of them. They at least look easy to spot! Soap water doesn't work for squash bugs very well because they drop; are hard to see; they hide in leaf litter, mulch, or plant debris; and come right back. Commented Nov 23, 2015 at 23:15

3 Answers 3


You don't mention where you are but since you're growing citrus I'm assuming you will have hot days.

On hot days bronze orange bugs will withdraw from the foliage and will congregate on the lower trunk of the tree where it is cooler. This is the perfect opportunity to squash them with a stick or collect them

enter image description here

by knocking them into soapy water. Wear protective clothing so that their caustic sprays don't irritate your skin.

And now at the time of this answer, I'm presuming it's winter where you live. You can spray eco-oil to try and destroy the eggs and smother any nymphs that emerge in spring.


  • Thanks for the answer. I'm actually in Australia, so mid-summer here. We've been getting a few hot days where I am recently, but even at 32 to 34 degrees celcius the bugs haven't withdrawn from the foliage.
    – Adam
    Commented Jan 15, 2017 at 23:50

I was told lime, so I got a bag of hydrated lime from the building supplies, mixed the hydrated lime with water, & sprayed the citrus trees. It definitely slows the bugs down, but doesn't last long & is very time consuming.

  • Thank you for your answer; if could include water & lime mixture percentages, suggested precautions, spraying method, estimate of percentage of effectiveness, approximate number of days that the treatment seems to remain effective, and any apparent adverse effects on the trees by the spray, could also be helpful. We encourage you to take the Tour, and browse through the Help center, to learn more about how the site works! Thank you! Welcome to the site!
    – M H
    Commented Nov 16, 2020 at 18:58

You're right on Confidor, it's effective but may harm citrus trees. bugs

Soapy water is an option too, as well as alcohol. There's an article about both chemical and natural repellents, it's mostly for USA climate, but I guess you'll find some of this information useful

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