Posts Tagged: brown marmorated stink bug
UC Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) expert who appeared today on Capitol Public Radio's Insight program with Beth Ruyak.
Chuck Ingels, UC ANR Cooperative Extension advisor in Sacramento County, said BMSB was first spotted in 2013 in Sacramento and each year the numbers have grown. This year, the warm spring gave BMSB a head start, portending significant population growth in August and September 2015.
"We're very concerned about tree crops, tomatoes, peppers, corn, beans and other crops," Ingels said. On a bright note, he said California farms do not have forests surrounding them like farmers back East, where growers have been dealing with BMSB since the the mid-1990s. "BMSB is an arboreal species. They live in trees and then come into the farm. We're not sure how much of a problem it will be on farms here (in California)."
Ruyak asked whether any control solutions can be found in the pest's native territory or from farmers back East.
"Growers are using pesticides back East," Ingels said. "There is a parasitoid from China that is under study in labs to see if they pose a problem for native stink bugs and other bugs."
One possible solution for dealing with the pests in gardens is planting sunflowers. Because BMSB are strongly attracted to sunflowers, they may draw the pests away from other crops and allow gardeners to monitor the BMSB presence. On the other hand, sunflowers may actually attract BMSB to the garden, where they could feed on vegetable crops.
BMSB feeds with a mouthpart called a "proboscis," stinging developing fruit 1/4 to 3/8 inch deep and sucking out its juices. As the fruit ripens, it hardens and deforms, becoming inedible.
Read more about BMSB, how to identify it, and methods to manage it around homes and gardens in the UC IPM Pest Note: Brown Marmorated Stink Bug.
Sacramento Bee writer Debbie Arrington says is "worthy of a Halloween creature feature."
"Wow, I'm being overwhelmed with calls about brown marmorated stink bugs getting into people's home, as well as restaurants and businesses," said Chuck Ingels, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in Sacramento County. "It's that time of year again!"
When days get shorter and cooler, the BMSB start looking for a place to spend the winter. Frequently, that's inside homes and buildings.
Ingels told the reporter he is keeping track of the BMSB invasion. Residents are asked to fill in an online survey to report BMSB finds. For identification help, residents may deliver BMSB in a sealed plastic bag or container to the UCCE office, 4145 Branch Center Road, Sacramento, or they can email clear photos to email@example.com.
Ingels said fairly large populations of BMSB have been found in Citrus Heights near Auburn Boulevard and River Park north and west of CSU Sacramento.
"Most of the others are single finds," he said.
For more information on BMSB identification and management, read a Pest Note posted by the UC Integrated Pest Management program.
Every year, California receives, on average, six new exotic invasive pests of concern; that's about one new pest every 60 days. These may be plants, insects or other arthropods, mollusks, plant pathogens such as fungi and bacteria, vertebrates, or any other organism not native to our state and with the capacity to negatively impact agriculture, urban environments and/or natural ecosystems. These invasive pests enter California on plant material and other biological substrates, as hitchhikers on trade goods and in ship ballast water, and sometimes even because of smuggling operations. Without the natural enemies that kept them in check in their native lands, they are free to reproduce and wreak havoc. Such pest invasions may then lead to destruction or alteration of habitat, loss of agricultural trade revenues, pronounced losses in agricultural production, and increases in pesticide applications.
The best way to combat such invasions may be through robust exclusion, inspection, early detection, and quarantine programs. Once established, they are best managed using classical and conservation biological control and the decision-making process of integrated pest management (IPM), described in detail in an earlier blog post. Urban agricultural environments are not immune to these invasions and may even be more at risk since urban environments contain many likely routes of introduction and have often been identified as point sources for invasive pests. In this article we will review the biology, ecology, and management of three recent pests that may increasingly be found in urban gardens and other urban ag environments.
County Agricultural Commissioner's office. Make sure to comply with the management tactics prescribed by these authorities; trees across the state depend on it. To learn more about ACP, HLB, management tactics, and other related topics please visit the following links:
County Agricultural Commissioner's office to confirm and document its presence. To learn about BMSB identification and management, please visit the following links:
County Agricultural Commissioner's office, especially in areas where these insects have yet to be found. To learn more about bagrada bug identification and management, please visit the following links:
Epoch Times, a website touted to reach 35 countries in 21 languages, released a national roundup about brown marmorated stink bug which featured colorful quotes from Chuck Ingels, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in Sacramento County.
Reporter Zachary Stieber opened the story with the new stink bug find in Sacramento.
“This is one of the worst invasive pests we’ve ever had in California,” Ingels said.
Ingels painted a word picture to help readers envision the BSMB's unsettling behavior during the cold winter months.
“These bugs aggregate in such numbers that there are reports of people using manure shovels and five-gallon buckets to dispose of them,” Ingels said. “The strong, unpleasant odor the insects emit when disturbed makes cleanup still more daunting.”
The story said BMSB was:
- The "bug of the year" in Dayton, Ohio
- Seen in “exploding numbers” at research plots in central Maryland
- Found in high population densities this year in nearly every region of Oregon
- Living in highest concentrations in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia
Stieber also embedded the following YouTube video of a stink bug nymph feeding on a green tomato:
Ingels said he had no difficulty finding the pests on tree foliage and flying around when he visited the site last week.
“This is one of the worst invasive pests we’ve ever had in California,” Ingels said.
Brown marmorated stink bug affects many different crops and is a serious residential problem. It moves around easily, so can be expected to spread. It can fly up to a half mile at a time and also travels long distances by hitching rides in vehicles or inside furniture or other articles when they are moved, often during winter months. As a result, most new infestations are found in urban areas.
Brown marmorated stink bugs are native to China, Japan and Korea. They were first documented in the United States in Pennsylvania in 2001, but was likely established there several years earlier. The pest has spread throughout Pennsylvania, is believed to be established in at least 15 states, and has been found occasionally in more than a dozen additional states. In 2004, BMSB made its way to Oregon and is now established in northwest Oregon and a portion of Southern Washington. The National Agricultural Pest Information System maintains a map showing current infestations, but it does not yet show California finds. The pest has been present in Los Angeles County for 6 years.
BMSB feeds on dozens of California crops, including apples, pears, cherries, peaches, melons, corn, tomatoes, berries and grapes. Feeding on fruit creates pock marks and distortions that make the fruit unmarketable. In grapes, berries collapse and rot increases. Wine tasters have been able to detect stink bug odor in wines made from grapes that had 10 bugs in a 35-pound lug. It is also a pest of many ornamentals, especially the fruit-bearing trees, princess tree (Paulownia tomentosa), common Catalpa (Catalpa bignonioides) and tree-of–heaven (Ailanthus altissima).
In addition to the damage caused by the BMSB feeding, the “true bug” can cause disturbing problems for homeowners in the winter. When the weather cools down, bugs migrate in droves to sheltered areas, including inside homes and buildings.
“These bugs aggregate in such numbers that there are reports of people using manure shovels and five-gallon buckets to dispose of them,” Ingels said. “The strong, unpleasant odor the insects emit when disturbed makes cleanup still more daunting.
BSMB is a pest in its homeland, but is mostly controlled by parasitic wasps. USDA researchers have collected parasitic wasps in Asia, but they must be tested extensively before they can be released in California, a process that will take until 2016.
“Parasitism is our best hope for reducing populations,” Ingels said. “Chemical control of BMSB is very challenging.”
Ingels said the best way to keep them out of homes is to exclude them by sealing off any potential entry points, especially around window air conditioning units. Insecticides that have been shown to be effective in the lab are often less effective in the field. In and around the home, insecticides that have efficacy are mostly pyrethroids and neonicotinoids, both of which can have harmful off-site effects.
Pesticides showing efficacy on farms also include organophosphates and carbamates. But growers have worked hard to develop effective Integrated Pest Management programs, and the use of these broad spectrum sprays will set these programs back. There are also pest resistance concerns with increasing use of these products.
“Because they are strong fliers, it’s just a matter of time before they reach farms,” Ingels said.
The pest can be distinguished from ordinary brown stink bugs by its larger size, marble-like coloring on its shield and white markings on the extended edge of the abdomen. BSMB also has distinctive white bands on the antennae and legs. The UC Integrated Pest Management Program has posted a video on YouTube to aid in identifying the pest. (The video is also embedded below.)
Traps with sex pheromones or other attractants can be used to monitor for the pest, but they are often poor at trapping the bugs even when populations are high. The best monitoring method is to inspect foliage throughout the year, and larger branches in late summer and fall for aggregating bugs. A quick method is to beat foliage over a piece of cardboard or sheet. If suspected BSMB are found, place some in a container and note where and when they were collected. Take the sealed container to the county agricultural commissioner or local UC Cooperative Extension office.
The following UC IPM video was created to help identify brown marmorated stink bug: