Brown marmorated stink bug are sporadic pests of most deciduous tree fruits and can occasionally cause severe damage. The name stink bug comes from the insects’ habit of exuding a fluid, which has a strong and usually disagreeable odor, from glands between the legs.
The brown marmorated stink bug is an agricultural pest that can cause widespread damage to fruit and vegetable crops. In Japan it is a pest to soyabean and fruit crops. In the U.S., the brown marmorated stink bug feeds, beginning in late May or early June, on a wide range of fruits, vegetables, and other host plants including peaches, apples, green beans, soybeans, cherries, raspberries and pears. It is a sucking insect, a “true bug“that uses its proboscis to pierce the host plant in order to feed.
This insect is becoming an important agricultural pest in Pennsylvania. In 2010, it produced severe losses in some apple and peach orchards by damaging peaches and apples. It also has been found feeding on blackberry, sweet corn, field corn and soyabeans. In neighboring states it has been observed damaging tomatoes, lima beans and green peppers.
These insects can produce allergic reactions in some individuals who are sensitive to the bugs’ odor (an aeroallergen). These chemicals are produced by dorsal scent glands. Individuals sensitive to the odors of cockroaches and lady beetles are also affected by the stink bug. Additionally, if the insects are crushed or smashed against exposed skin they have been reported to produce dermatitis at the point of contact. This is particularly important regarding agricultural workers picking fruits and vegetables.
In agriculture, stink bugs have been more of a problem in Mid-Atlantic States like Delaware, Maryland and Virginia. The U.S. Apple Association estimated that stink bugs caused $37 million in damage to apple growers in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia in 2010.They have also been a real headache for home gardeners in these states.
The article below would better explain the damage caused by these insects.
Michigan brown marmorated stink bug report for September 15, 2015
Posted on September 16, 2015 by Julianna Wilson, Michigan State University Extension, Department of Entomology
Brown marmorated stink bug activity continues to increase in Berrien County; adults and nymphs were found feeding on apples. Damaged peaches by BMSB near Grand Rapids has been reported for the second year in a row.
In the 11th week of monitoring, we are tracking a significant increase in brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) nymphs and adults collected from traps at four locations in Berrien County. Two of the traps are in urban locations and two of the traps are in commercial apple orchards – these are the same sites we have been monitoring all season for the last three years.
Fruit samples with suspected BMSB damage continue to come in from across southern Michigan. So far, the damage we have seen in these pear and apple samples can be attributed to physiological problems associated with nutrient deficiencies or disease, not feeding by BMSB. However, one peach orchard on the southwest side of Grand Rapids, Michigan, which we have been monitoring closely because of damage found there last year, has confirmed damage by BMSB again this year. Also, BMSB nymphs and adults were found feeding on apples on an orchard border in southeastern Berrien County this past week near Niles, Michigan.
Damage to fruit from BMSB feeding can be confused with several disease or nutrient deficiencies, depending on the particular fruit that is affected, so it is important to involve your local Michigan State University Extension fruit educator to help determine what caused the damage or send samples to MSU Diagnostic Services. Visual inspection of orchard edges for the presence of fruit injury, or for the insects themselves, is recommended, but for most of the state, numbers are still well below levels that would trigger specific control measures against BMSB. Current management practices aimed at other late-season insect pests are likely to be providing some protection against the few BMSB that may be present in orchards near known hotspots such as in Berrien County.
The area of influence for a single baited trap appears to be relatively small, so it is important when using them to monitor for this pest to place them near favored plant hosts and to combine trapping with other sampling methods such as limb-jarring of fruit trees or sweep-netting in orchard edges close to woodlots and riparian areas.
For more information about BMSB management should populations reach levels that would require control, please refer to the MSU Extension Bulletin E0154, “2015 Michigan Fruit Management Guide.” To learn more about how to monitor for BMSB, distinguish it from other similar-looking stink bugs and what plants it favors, visit MSU’s Brown Marmorated Stink Bug website
The purpose of the MSU Extension BMSB monitoring network and weekly report is to provide early warning should population increases of BMSB occur in areas where susceptible crops are grown. Based on what is currently known about the biology of BMSB and its favored crop and non-crop habitats, commercial fruit and vegetable plantings have been selected that are adjacent to riparian habitats, woodland, soybean fields, major transportation corridors or various combinations of these attributes. Traps are baited with a commercially available lure and have been set up in apples, stone fruits (peaches, plums, sweet and tart cherries), blueberries, grapes, strawberries and a variety of vegetable crops. Several urban locations where BSMB were reported last year are also being monitored.
Management options for this invasive insect are currently limited. Agricultural setting management relies on chemical control. Brown marmorated stink bug is susceptible to several widely used insecticides but they are ecologically harmful to both target and non target species. Leaching of these insecticides in the ground causes soil pollution and also reduces fertility of the soil.
C Tech Corporation, an Indian based company has come up with a novel solution to deal with such problems. Termirepel™ is an aversive for termites and insects. It has unique qualities which range from being non toxic and non hazardous to being “ECO-FRIENDLY”. Aggressive species are further deterred from attacking by advanced mechanisms like aversion, feeding deterrents, mating disruption, reproduction cycle inhibition, growth impairment and chemo sterilization thus modifying their response towards the Termirepel™ containing products resulting in them staying away from the application. Thus, Termirepel™ actually helps in modifying insect behavior. It does not harm or kill the insect but just repels them away from the application.