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How to Get Rid of Crusader Bugs on Dianthus Plant

Updated: July 15, 2022

Dianthus plants are popular for their beautiful and fragrant flowers, but they can be attacked by pests such as crusader bugs. These bugs feed on the sap of the plant and can cause significant damage if left unchecked. In this article, we will discuss how to identify crusader bugs and provide tips on how to get rid of them.

Identifying Crusader Bugs

Crusader bugs are also known as marmorated stink bugs due to their distinctive marbled brown coloring. They are about 1 inch long and have a triangular-shaped body with a pointed head. Crusader bugs have a shield-like shape, which gives them protection from predators.

You can easily identify crusader bugs on your dianthus plants by looking for small holes on the leaves, as well as wilting or yellowing leaves. These bugs usually feed at night and hide during the day, so it’s important to check your plants after dark.

Getting Rid of Crusader Bugs

Now that you know how to identify crusader bugs, let’s talk about how to get rid of them.

1. Handpicking

One of the simplest methods for getting rid of crusader bugs is to handpick them off your dianthus plants. You can use a pair of gloves or a tissue paper to avoid touching them directly. Be sure to dispose of them in a sealed bag or container away from your garden.

2. Neem Oil

Neem oil is a natural pesticide that can be effective against crusader bugs. Mix a few drops of neem oil with water in a spray bottle and apply it directly to your plants, making sure to cover both the tops and bottoms of the leaves. The oil works by disrupting the bug’s feeding behavior and reproduction cycle.

3. Insecticidal Soap

Insecticidal soap is another natural option for getting rid of crusader bugs. Mix the soap with water according to the instructions on the label and apply it to your plants using a spray bottle. The soap works by breaking down the bug’s protective coating, leading to dehydration and death.

4. Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is a natural powder made from the fossilized remains of tiny aquatic organisms. Sprinkle it around the base of your dianthus plants and on the leaves to create a barrier that crusader bugs cannot cross. The powder works by absorbing the bug’s protective coating, leading to dehydration and death.

Preventing Crusader Bugs

Prevention is always better than cure when it comes to pests. Here are some tips to prevent crusader bugs from attacking your dianthus plants:

  • Keep your garden clean and free of debris where bugs can hide.
  • Use a plant-based fertilizer to promote healthy growth and reduce stress on your plants.
  • Use row covers to protect your plants from pests.
  • Introduce beneficial insects such as ladybugs or lacewings, which feed on crusader bugs.


Are crusader bugs harmful to humans?

No, crusader bugs are not harmful to humans but can emit a foul odor if disturbed or crushed.

Can I use chemical pesticides to get rid of crusader bugs?

Chemical pesticides can be effective against crusader bugs, but they can also harm beneficial insects and pollinators. It’s best to use natural options first and only resort to chemical pesticides if necessary.

How often should I check my dianthus plants for crusader bugs?

It’s a good idea to check your plants at least once a week, especially during the growing season when bugs are most active.

In conclusion, crusader bugs can be a nuisance for dianthus plant owners, but with these tips, you can effectively control and prevent them from causing damage. Remember, prevention is always better than cure, so keep your garden clean and healthy to discourage pests from attacking your plants.