Report sightings of brown marmorated stink bugs in your home or business

Report sightings of brown marmorated stink bugs to the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network in order to help Michigan fruit, vegetable and ornamental plant growers identify potential hotspots.

Adult brown marmorated stink bug – identifying features include the dark and light banding along the margin of the insect’s body and the white bands on its antennae. Photo credit: Julianna Wilson, MSU

Adult brown marmorated stink bug – identifying features include the dark and light banding along the margin of the insect’s body and the white bands on its antennae. Photo credit: Julianna Wilson, MSU

 

Editor’s note: If you have already reported a sighting from a particular address, you do not need to report from that address again. Thank you for participating!

Over the past few years, more and more reports have come in to Michigan State University Extension regarding the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) taking up residence in homes and businesses – especially in the fall. If you are not familiar with this bug, BMSB is a 0.5- by 0.625-inch shield-shaped insect that is a voracious eater of a wide variety of wild and cultivated plants. Also known by its scientific name, Halyomorpha halys, both BMSB adults and nymphs – the immature stages of the bug – feed on a number of important fruit, vegetable and ornamental crops and have become a major pest for growers in mid-Atlantic states where it was first detected in the late 1990s.

If you or someone you know has seen this pest in or on the outside of your home or place of business, we want to hear from you! Everyone who sees this pest is asked to report it on the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network (MISIN) website or mobile app. A few minutes of your time can be incredibly helpful in officially cataloging and tracking this invasive pest.

Like so many of our newer pests, BMSB was accidentally brought to North America from Asia and is difficult to manage because we still have much to learn about its biology. However, we do know that it readily hitchhikes and likes to overwinter in manmade structures and has been in Michigan since at least 2010.

So far, populations are low enough that only a handful of Michigan growers have experienced damage to their crops from this pest. However, part of the pattern of establishment by this pest is that it starts out as a nuisance pest in homes and businesses and then a few years later it becomes an important agricultural pest for neighboring growers. At this time of year in their native habitat, BMSB would normally look for shelter in south facing rocky outcroppings and other protected areas. The perfect surrogate turns out to be south-facing walls of man-made structures. It is important to note that BMSB do not bite humans or their pets – they are strictly plant-feeding insects. For information on how to prevent or get rid of this pest in your home, see “Managing brown marmorated stink bugs in homes.”

Both the MISIN website and the app are free to use – you simply register and log in, verify that you do indeed have BMSB (by either looking at the Species Factsheet provided by MISIN for BMSB, or downloading the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug fact sheet provided by the MSU Field Crops Entomology Program), and then report the sighting or sightings. Users can also submit up to two images with every report if they are uncertain as to whether what they are seeing is indeed BMSB. By reporting sightings of this pest, you will be helping growers in your area prepare for this pest by identifying potential new hotspots.

For more information about this pest and some of the work that has been done to try to combat it in the mid-Atlantic region, visit the Stop BMSB website. If you don’t have Internet access and would like to report a sighting, email Julianna Wilson at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) with your nameaddress (or nearest crossroads), the date you saw them, and how many you have seen.

Resources

Related Articles