Michigan brown marmorated stink bug report for August 11, 2015

Brown marmorated stink bugs were captured from the same two hotspots again this week in Berrien and Kent counties.

brown marmorated stink bug life stages
Brown marmorated stink bugs have five nymphal stages ranging in size from 2.4-12 millimeters in length. The first instar (not shown in the photo) is brightly colored, red-orange and black. Later instars (second through fifth shown from left to right in photo), like the adults (male and female shown in photo to the right of the nymphs), are dull in color, allowing them to blend in with tree bark. All second through fifth instars have the banding pattern on their antennae similar to the adults. Photo credit: W. Hershberger, www.stopbmsb.org

This is the sixth weekly report of the Michigan State University Extension brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) monitoring network. Our network of traps is being used to provide early warning should population increases of BMSB occur in areas where susceptible crops are grown. Based on what is currently known about the biology of BMSB and its favored crop and non-crop habitats, commercial fruit and vegetable plantings have been selected that are adjacent to riparian habitats, woodland, soybean fields, major transportation corridors or various combinations of these attributes. Traps are set up in apples, stone fruits including peaches, plums, sweet and tart cherries, blueberries, grapes, strawberries and a variety of vegetable crops. Several urban locations where BMSB were reported last year are also being monitored.

This week, traps placed at the same two sites as last week in Berrien County – one urban site and one apple orchard – and one urban site in Kent County caught either BMSB nymphs or adults in a total of three traps out of the 60 that are being monitored. However, the trap at the urban Berrien County site caught an amazingly 94 nymphs and one adult, while the other two traps caught single specimens: one adult in the other Berrien County site and one nymph at the Kent County site this week. The Berrien County trap that caught all of those nymphs is located in a known hotspot in Stevensville, Michigan. The major increase in nymphs at this one location is a good indication that the summer generation is out and about, but for most of the state, numbers are still well-below levels that would trigger specific control measures against BMSB. Current management programs aimed at apple maggots and other summer insect pests will provide some protection against BMSB.

However, if you are a peach or apple grower in Berrien, Kent or nearby counties, you can and should be monitoring for BMSB in your orchards using traps, beat sampling such as jarring limbs over a light colored canvas or sheet and counting the number of BMSB that drop, sweep netting in adjacent vegetation, particularly in adjacent field crops, or some combination of these methods. Sampling along orchard edges close to woods and riparian areas is recommended because BMSB move into orchards from these areas, halting at the edge before moving further into the orchard.

For more information, please refer to the MSU Extension Bulletin E0154, also known as the “2015 Michigan Fruit Management Guide.”

To learn more about how to monitor for the brown marmorated stink bug, distinguish it from other similar-looking stink bugs, what crops it favors and management strategies should populations reach the threshold where management is necessary, visit MSU’s Brown Marmorated Stink Bug website.

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