The Search for Brown Marmorated Stink Bug in Utah
The first U.S. detection of the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB), Halyomorpha halys, which is native to Asia, occurred in the 1990’s in Allentown, PA. Since its introduction, it has spread quickly, having been reported in 33 states thus far and recently causing severe damage in some states. Unlike many agricultural pests, BMSB is a year-round problem.
During the late spring and summer, it feeds on a large variety of plants, including many that are grown in Utah, such as cherry, apple, pear, peach, apricot, grape, raspberry, and many ornamentals.
It can cause severe damage as it feeds on fruits and leaves, resulting in necrotic tissue and cat-facing injury. In the fall, BMSB migrates indoors where it aggregates, becoming a nuisance pest and emitting a foul odor when disturbed or destroyed. More information can be found in the Utah Pests BMSB fact sheet and on the new Oregon State University BMSB website.
Top: Identifying features of adult brown marmorated stink bug
Bottom: Three different stages of nymphs on an egg mass
Until recently, BMSB was typically detected as a result of the damage it caused, and surveys were limited to visual methods. In 2011, a BMSB lure became available, making survey methods much more efficient.
This lure and funding from a Specialty Crops Block Grant are enabling a survey of 30 orchard and community garden sites, in conjunction with CAPS and Farm Bill invasive pest surveys that are also being completed this summer. Given the rapidly expanding range of this pest, it will soon be in Utah, if it is not already here.
Early detection is crucial for effective management with minimal impact to Utah’s agricultural industries. Please contact your county Extension office or Cory Stanley (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you see this pest.
-Cory Stanley, USU CAPS Coordinator
The Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey is a federal program, administered jointly by USDA-APHIS-PPQ and each state, whose purpose is early detection of invasive species that could threaten U.S. agriculture. In Utah, the program is co-coordinated by Cory Stanley (USU) and Clint Burfitt (UDAF).