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Brown marmorated stink bug update

By Chris Williams on April 24, 2017.

Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is an invasive insect species from Asia that has caused serious economic impact on producers of many different crops in states where it has become well established.  It is thought to have arrived in the US in shipping crates. Although adult bugs can fly, it’s an efficient hitchhiker and migration to other states may have been aided through transportation of infested cargo.

BMSB (Halyomorpha halys) is found throughout most of Asia where it is an important agricultural pest on fruit and ornamental trees, such as pear, peach, apple, and plum, and mulberry. It is also a major pest of soybeans and citrus as well.   In North America BMSB was first identified in Allentown, Pennsylvania during the late 1990s’.  Growers of peaches, apples, sweet corn, peppers, and tomatoes in Pennsylvania and throughout the mid-Atlantic states reported catastrophic damage to their crops due to the feeding injury caused by these bugs causing some to declare total losses in 2010. Stink bugs have piercing mouthparts that they use to puncture the skin of developing fruit, and the saliva they inject while feeding causes scarring which can reduce the crop’s fresh market value by over 50 percent!  So far, BMSB has been recorded in forty-three states (including all New England states) and four Canadian provinces.  Researchers have since developed integrated pest management tools (pheromone and light traps) to help growers monitor for the pest’s presence as well as chemical and non-chemical control strategies for traditional and organic growers.

BMSB has been recorded in New England for many years and so far, is mainly considered a ‘nuisance’ problem (except for Connecticut where it’s a bit more established) which is defined as reproducing populations of early stage infestations usually confined to residential areas. http://www.stopbmsb.org/where-is-bmsb/state-by-state/

Since I first wrote about this invasive species a few years ago, I’ve begun to see them more often with each passing year on my NH residential customer’s homes during the fall.  BMSB is distinctly different in appearance from the now common fall invader, the western conifer seed bug. If you are a resident of Massachusetts and would like to help the state track invasive pest species, please visit http://www.massnrc.org/pests/index.htm Colonial Pest Controls’ semi annual service is perfect for keeping BMSB and other overwintering invaders out of your home.

Photo Credit : By USGS Native Bee Inventory and Monitoring Laboratory from Beltsville, USA – Brown marmorated stinkbug, U, side_2013-02-05-14.06.31 ZS PMaxUploaded by Jacopo Werther, Public Domain, Link

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