- Author: Larry J Bettiga
Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) (Halyomorpha halys (Stål)) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae), is an invasive insect native to East Asia that has been introduced into North America. The first official North American detection of this pest occurred in Pennsylvania in 2001, but it is possible that it had been introduced as early as 1996. As of 2012 this insect has been identified in 38 states, including California. Large populations are now established in several eastern states, where they have become significant agricultural and nuisance pests. BMSB can feed on a wide range of plant hosts. It can be a significant pest of tree fruits, including apples, pears, peaches, and cherries; small fruits, including grapes; fruiting vegetables, including corn, tomatoes, peppers, and legumes; and field crops, including field corn and soybeans.
Adult brown marmorated stink bug (top) and a fifth instar nymph. (Photo by Stephen Ausmus, USDA APHIS).
BMSB has become a pest of both commercial agriculture and urban gardens were populations are established. It has also been a nuisance pest on the east coast when high populations of the overwintering adults seek refuge in homes. It can be transported long distances in vehicles or as stowaways when furniture and home items are being moved during the winter months from infested areas. As a result, most new infestations are found in urban areas. This insect is currently established in Los Angeles area of southern California and has been intercepted at California agricultural border inspection stations.
BMSB is not a federal or state actionable pest. CDFA has assigned this insect a “B” rating, leaving all regulatory actions at the discretion of the local agricultural commissioner.
UC IPM has produced a pest alert card for BMSB. We have a limited quantity at the Monterey County UC Cooperative Extension office. It can also be viewed or downloaded at: http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PDF/pestalert/brownmarmoratedstinkbug.pdf
A Spanish language version is also available at: http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PDF/pestalert/brownmarmoratedstinkbugsp.pdf
If you find a stink bug you suspect might be BMSB, place it in a sealed container and record when and where you collected it. Take the container to your local UC cooperative Extension office or county agricultural commissioner for identification.
Additional information links for BMSB