Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Status of the brown marmorated stink bug in Minnesota
Numbers of the brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys), a household invader and potential crop pest, appear to be increasing in Minnesota. This pest, originally from Asia, has spread rapidly throughout much of the U.S. and was first detected in Minnesota in 2010. Since 2010, detections of BMSB have occurred throughout the Twin Cities area and in Duluth and La Crescent. Initially, home owners were encountering one or two bugs on or in homes and other buildings during the fall and winter months. However, home owners in Wyoming, MN are beginning to see more of this invader.
We recently visited a home where over 20 immature and adult BMSB were found crawling on the exterior of the house and garage. This is a home where BMSB was observed in the fall of 2013 and spring of 2014, which indicates successful overwintering of this species in Minnesota. BMSB has also been observed on other homes in the neighborhood. Despite these detections, numbers of BMSB on individual homes remain relatively low, therefore management actions, such as pesticide application to homes, are not advisable at this time.
In addition to invading homes, BMSB feeds on over 100 species of plants, including soybean, corn and various fruit and vegetable crops. In some eastern states, where BMSB has been established for longer, significant yield losses due to this pest have occurred. In Minnesota, we are not aware of reports of BMSB causing damage to any crops. Furthermore, statewide surveys have not detected this pest in Minnesota soybean, corn or small grains. However, as populations of BMSB increase, this pest could pose a threat to Minnesota crops. Our statewide survey efforts will continue in coming years as well as research on several key areas of BMSB biology. Current research includes evaluation of the impact of BMSB feeding on soybean, apples and sweet corn, efficacy of insecticides, and ability of BMSB and their potential biological control agents to survive winter temperatures.
If you suspect an infestation of BMSB in your home, fields or garden, contact the MDA Arrest-the-Pest hotline through email at firstname.lastname@example.org . BMSB can be distinguished from other brown-colored stink bugs by the light bands on its antennae and an alternating dark and light color pattern on its abdomen (see U of MN BMSB fact sheet).