II. Hosts: Like most stink bugs, BMSB has a wide host range. It is important to consider the hosts on which bugs develop. For example, brown stink bug (BSB), Euschistus servus, uses tree fruit for a feeding host for adults, but the nymphal stage is found elsewhere - on herbaceous hosts like soybean and weeds. BMSB will use tree fruits and grapevines as reproductive hosts. Therefore, injury is inflicted by all stages after the egg stage (except for the first instar nymph, which does not feed).
III. Description: This species is
larger than the brown stink bug (BSB), about 3/4 inch long. The brown background
contains tiny flecks of light color, and the antennae and legs
possess white bands, unlike BSB. There is also a pattern
of alternating dark and white spots on the edges of the
abdomen. The nymph as a
dark colored abdomen with red marking on the back. The term "marmorated" refers
to the marbled pattern of coloring, with flecks of white
interspersed with the background of brown.
IV. Biology: This species is new to the mid-Atlantic area, and even some questions of basic biology need to be clarified. In its native China, there are 2-6 generations. It appear that there are two in our area, though workers in NJ thought it likely to have a single generation there. BMSB has a host range of about 300 species. Unlike some stink bugs, which use some fruit crops only as feeding hosts, undergoing nymphal development on herbaceous hosts like soybean and weeds, BMSB used tree fruits and grapevines as reproductive hosts, therefore nymphs cause feeding injury in addition to adults. Adults overwinter in protected places, often invading houses in large numbers. This is another aspect of its pest status, becoming a severe nuisance. In New Jersey, it has been reported to now be the most abundant stink bug collected.
V. Injury: Injury in tree
fruits can be severe, exceeding 25% (individual blocks
have been estimated to have much higher levels of fruit
injury). Externally, fruit may have multiple reddish dents
at feeding sites, resembling hail strikes. Upon cutting
into fruit, corky areas are seen in the flesh of the fruit (example 1: external, internal. example 2: external, internal). Peach and
nectarine flesh begin to break down. In vineyards,
a unique problem is posed. Stink bugs may be harvested along with clusters and be
transported to the winery in lugs or bins, where the wine can be
imparted with a "stink bug taint". There has been
conflicting research on the stability of sink bug taint, in
whether the taint survives fermentation and bottling.
Researh in Oregon has supported a long-term taint. Those
researchers determined an action threshold of 3 BMSB per cluster
in order ot avoid taint. Levels this high are rarely seen.
But if that threshold is reached, our research at Virginia Tech
has determined two materials (clothianidin and pyrethrum) with a
0-day PHI that, if applied the afternoon before harvest, will
get bugs out of the clusters. This has been incorporated
into our Pest
Management Guide. In addition to potential impact of
wine quality, BMSB will feed directly on grape berries, causing
a progressive necrosis of berries (see video of BMSB
feeding grape and a YouTube
video created by Sanjay Basnet, VT). In cane
berries, stink bugs feed between the druplets and can
cause collapse of drupelets (see the stink bug feeding,
and a drupelet with feeding punctures an all sides in the
In addition to its status as a pest of fruit
and other crops, BMSB has become a domestic pest in autumn, in
its native Asia as well as the U.S. Adult bugs appear on
the south and west sides of dwellings, seeking a protected place
in which to overwinter. Hundreds of bugs may reach the
interior rooms, creating a nuisance with their activity and
their scent. More information on this aspect of BMSB is
given in the Virginia Tech fact
VI. Monitoring: Monitoring for BMSB
should include direct examinations for adults and nymphs, as
well as for injured fruit. Action thresholds have not been
for BMSB have not been identified, thought it responds to
pheromone components of another stink bug species.
Use of pheromone traps for monitoring of BMSB
is an ungoing research topic.
Control: Chemical control:
Pyrethroids provide fairly effective control of BMSB, however
even these pesticides may fail to control immigrating stink bugs
after a few days. In addition, summer applications of
pyrethroids are associated with outbreaks of secondary pests
such as mites in orchards and mealybugs in vineyards.
Some neonicotinoids such as dinotefuran and clothianidin
are also effective in the short term. Since this is such a
new pest in our area, control studies are still in
progress. In grape
harvest, where residual control is not needed, Belay
(clothianidin) and PyGanic (pyrethrins) have successfully
reduced BMSB in grapevines; that latter material is not expected
to provide residual control, however. See the note on BMSB in the 2020 Spray
Bulletin for Commercial Tree Fruit Growers (p 76, Apple
On April 21, 2017, EPA approved bifenthrin (Bridgade
WSB, Bifenture EC, Bifenture 10DF) for use against brown
marmorated stink bug in apple, peach and nectarine. Pears are already included in the full Section 3 label. Click
here for more details. A section 18
request for dinotefuran to combat brown marmorated stink bug on
pome and stone fruits was announced
on 30 June 2011.
VDACS released an announcement regarding this approval on June
29. This Section 18 use was renewed for 2012 and 2013, and
was active through 15 October 2013. Venom (label, MSDS) and Scorpion (label, MSDS) are the two approved commercial
products of dinotefuran. Dinotefuran has a 3-day PHI on
tree fruits. See the Section 18 labels for Venom and Scorpion. You
should be in possession of these if the products are used.
At the same time, an organically-approved product containing
azadiracthin and pyrethrins was approved for BMSB by EPA. Label rates of Azera range
from 1 to 3.5 pts/acre. While a specific rate is not
provided for BMSB, the label recommends 3-3.5 oz/A for high pest
populations and difficult to control pests. Residual life
of Azera is expected to be short. Azera may be used up to
the day of harvest. All of these products have very low
mammalian toxicity; however, all are highly toxic to honey bees,
and care is needed around bees.
The following links may be used for chemical
Spray Bulletin for Commercial Tree Fruit Growers
Pest Management Guide for Commercial Vineyards
Pest Management Guide for Commercial Small Fruit
Pest Management Guide for Home Fruit
There are natural enemies that attack native stink bugs, but
many of these have limited success attacking BMSB. A
scelionid wasp native to China, Trissolcus japonicus (formerly known as T.
halyomorphae), has been reported to have high
parasitization rates, and is now in quarantine for research in
the US. This species was apparently introduced separately
in the wild in the mid-Atlantic region and is slowly
spreading. An excellent video has been posted by
Oregon State University researchers showing mating, oviposition
and emergence behavior of this species.
Trapping BMSB after
household invasion: Researchers at Virginia Tech
have developed an easy-to-make
trap to collect household BMSB.
Research: There are currently two multi-state
research projects on brown marmorated stink bug. One is an
SCRI project, the other deals with organic management of
BMSB. Check the web
site for progress in organic management of BMSB. (housed
Virginia Tech has a fact sheet (PDF version), as does Penn State University - fact sheet posted (PDF version) and Rutgers University. A working group on organic management of BMSB has been established, with their own web site. There is opportunity to participate in grower forums. See the new Stop BMSB Web Site, StopBMSB.org!
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Hamilton, G. C. 2011. Biology and current spread of the brown marmorated stink bug in North America. Rutgers Univ. and Northeast IPM Center. http://www.northeastipm.org/neipm/assets/File/BMSB%20Resources/ESA%20Eastern%20Branch%202011/03-Biology-and-Current-Spread-of-the-Brown-Marmorated-Stink-Bug-in-North-America.pdf.
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interview of Drs. Tracy Leskey and Tom Kuhar, of Virginia
Tech Department of Entomology.
Support for research described here
by the Virginia Wine Board/Virginia Vineyards Association and
NIFA (National Institute of Food and Agriculture) is acknowledged.