University of Maryland Extension

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) Update - August 2013

Brown marmorated stink bug nymph on corn
Adapted for the general public from the July 26, 2013 TPM/IPM Weekly Report article by Stanton Gill

University of Maryland Extension, in a cooperative Integrated Pest Management (IPM) effort with Brian Kunkel, University of Delaware Extension, has been monitoring brown marmorated stink bug populations this summer at herbaceous perennial nurseries and cut flower operations.  The research conducted is primarily for the commercial audience. However, their findings on the habits and destructive tendencies of BMSB are also applicable to the home gardener.

Adult BMSB are still active on plants this week. Adults are being found in baited pheromone traps, but they are declining numbers. These adults overwintered from last season. stink bug trap

Interestingly, nymphs are also being found in pheromone traps. To get to the  trap, the nymphs have to walk up a 3 ft. structure and enter the trap chamber. The nymphs know that female adults will often feed after mating, so the nymphs migrate to where mating adults hang out.

BMSB egg masses have been found for the last three weeks on sunflowers, zinnias and hydrangeas used for cut flowers. This week mainly 2nd through 4th instar nymphs are active on plants. These nymphs are the first generation BMSB for this season and are going be very actively feeding for the next couple of weeks.

A research plot being used to study BMSB on 6 BMSB on peppervegetables varieties was examined. The sweet corn plants in the garden were loaded with BMSB nymphs. The nymphs concentrate on the corn ear and feed through the husk. If you peel back the husk you will find distorted kernels forming on the ear of corn. Anyone growing corn in their garden may want to check them for BMSB nymphs. The nymphs will do a lot of feeding and will cause a fair amount of damage in a vegetable garden.

Examine pepper plants and sweet corn especially since these are favored hosts.

praying mantis eating BMSBPraying mantids are eating machines.  Consider yourself lucky to have them in your garden. But don't be too disappointed if they can't keep up with the population of brown marmorated stink bugs!

For more images and information on how to monitor and control BMSB in your garden visit the Stink Bugs page on Grow It Eat It.

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