Michigan brown marmorated stink bug report for August 4, 2015

First brown marmorated stink bugs captured this season from traps at two urban sites and one apple orchard in Berrien and Kent counties at known hotspots.

Four of the more than 60 traps in the monitoring network caught BMSB from Berrien and Kent counties (highlighted in green) in Lower Michigan. Counties highlighted in yellow are also being monitored, but have yet to capture any BMSB in traps this season.

Four of the more than 60 traps in the monitoring network caught BMSB from Berrien and Kent counties (highlighted in green) in Lower Michigan. Counties highlighted in yellow are also being monitored, but have yet to capture any BMSB in traps this season.

This is the fifth 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 two sites in Berrien County – one urban site and one apple orchard – and one urban site in Kent County caught either BMSB nymphs or adults for a total of seven nymphs and two adults in four out of the more than 60 traps in the network. Locations where BMSB were caught this week are from known hotspots in the state, so finding BMSB here is no surprise. These numbers are similar to what we were finding this time last year at these sites, and are still far below levels that should concern growers in the region.

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 orchard 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.

Current programs for controlling apple maggots and other summer insect pests will provide some protection against BMSB, especially at current low levels. Populations of BMSB in Michigan are so low that control measures specifically targeting BMSB are not necessary at this time. In the next four to five years, we expect BMSB populations to build to a level that would cause concern and trigger targeted action, and so it is good to know there are a number of registered insecticides that will be effective when populations reach levels that would warrant control.

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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