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Cornell Fruit Resources

Resources for Commercial Growers

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB)

Genus species: Halyomorpha halys

Distribution: Becoming widely distributed throughout the eastern US and also on the west coast. Has become very abundant in mid-Atlantic states. First found in NY at low levels in 2007.

Background: Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) originates from Asia. It was accidently introduced into Pennsylvania about 15 years ago and has been spreading through the USA ever since, reaching NY in 2007. This insect is a plant feeder, using its soda straw like mouthparts to suck out plant juices. It is known to feed on a wide range of plant species, including a number of fruit, vegetable, and field crops where it can cause serious damage. Pome fruit seem to be particularly vulnerable. Several small fruit crops are vulnerable as well, with perhaps blueberries and raspberries the most at risk. When it feeds on developing fruit, you may only observe small blemishes or slight to moderate deformations on the surface, but underneath you will find corky, necrotic tissue. In addition to its feeding habits, BMSB is also a nuisance pest. It overwinters as an adult, often in homes, barns and parked vehicles like RVs, etc. They can be very numerous and although they do not bite, they can release an unpleasant odor (hence the name stink bug).

Crops of Concern: Which small fruit crops will be vulnerable to this new pest is still uncertain. All are potential hosts but brambles and blueberries may be the most vulnerable.

Potential for Economic Impact: This is unclear and partially depends on how large populations become in different areas of NY State.

Identification: Adult stink bugs are about 1.5 cm in length and brown in color, resembling several other species of native stink bugs. Antennae have characteristic light-colored bands and the rear edge of the abdomen has light and dark banding. Immatures (nymphs) vary in color depending on stage, but have white bands on legs and red eyes.

Monitoring and Management: Visual counts of adults or nymphs are currently the best approach. Research is ongoing to develop better lures and traps.

  • Cultural Management – Not developed.
  • Chemical Management – Several insecticides have recently received 2ee label exemptions for use against BMSB on small fruit crops in NY. See listings under specific crops in the Cornell Pest Management Guidelines for Berry Crops.

Resources: Peter Jentsch at the Cornell University Hudson Valley Lab has developed a web site for BMSB that includes distribution and pest status in New York as well as links to other BMSB web sites.

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