Entomopathogens are bacteria, fungi, protozoans or viruses that can infect and subsequently cause disease in insects and other arthropods. They can indirectly impact cropping systems by serving as naturally suppressors of insect and mite pests. When there are epizootic outbreaks, entomopathogens are capable of causing rapid declines in large populations of their arthropod hosts. Many of these naturally occurring pathogens have been formulated and commercialized as insecticides.
Parasitic wasps are beneficial wasps that generally lay their eggs inside the egg, immature or adult stage of another insect commonly called its host. Eggs of these wasps then hatch, leaving the larval wasp which resembles a maggot to consume the contents of the host egg.
All adult stink bugs are shield shaped. Phytophagus: Green and southern green stink bugs are light green and measure ½" to ¾" long. The green stink bug is bordered by a narrow, orange-yellow line around most of its body (Fig. 1). Brown stink bugs are dull brownish-yellow in color and about ½" long (Fig. 2). The Brown Marmorated stinkbug is a newly introduced pest to the Mid-Atlantic area and can be distinguished from other brown stink bugs by their lighter bands on the antennae and darker bands on the overlapping part at the rear of the front pair of wings (Fig 3).
The Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) Halyomorpha halys (Figs. 1 and 1a) was accidentally introduced into the United States in shipping containers arriving from Asia. The first confirmed specimen was collected in Allentown, PA in October 2001, although there is evidence that it was collected from black light traps in New Jersey as early as 2000.
There has been a large and rapid increase in brown marmorated stink bug BMSB) in some pepper fields in the past week in central Maryland. Numbers just two weeks ago in these areas were very low with just a few nymphs observed.
We know that BMSB populations tend to increase in August and through the fall into the first frost, but this was such a rapid increase that a great deal of damage was done to bell and banana peppers.
This has been a bad year for stink bug damage in tomatoes. Just about every field I walk into has at least some damage while others have moderate to heavy damage (>20% tomatoes not marketable). Cloudy spot of tomato fruit is
caused by the feeding of various species of stink bug (SB). On green fruit the damage appears as whitish areas with indistinct borders (Fig. 1).