- Author: Siavash Taravati
Since its introduction, BMSB has spread to 38 states on the East and West Coasts, where it has caused damage to fruits, vegetables, and ornamental plants. BMSB is also a significant nuisance pest for residents and businesses, since it may invade structures in large numbers for overwintering during the fall and winter. When disturbed or crushed, this bug produces a pungent odor (hence the name stink bug), unpleasant to many people.
In autumn, when temperatures begin to drop, BMSB adults seek shelter for overwintering and aggregate under dead tree bark, rocks, or in structures such as office buildings, houses, garages, and barns by entering through openings surrounding door frames and windows, vents, and other openings and cracks.
When individual bugs find a suitable place for overwintering, they release an aggregation pheromone that attracts other individuals; this is the reason behind their large numbers within structures and on plants.
Once inside, they enter narrow spaces within buildings and stay inactive most of the time. However, on warm winter days, they may become active again and might be seen on floors, walls, or flying around lights at night. Although BMSB does not damage structures or harm people, it is a nuisance, causing residents to seek control methods.
Brooms can be washed after use and vacuums can be customized by attaching a paint strainer (or nylon stocking) at the tip of the tube to prevent bugs from entering the vacuum cleaner bag or canister while vacuuming. Adult BMSB are attracted to light sources, especially to white light (also black or blue light) and fly toward them at night. An excellent way to trap and kill BMSB is to fill a large pan with soapy water and illuminate it with a desk lamp in a dark room at night. The bugs will be attracted to the light, fall into the water, and drown.
The long-term control solution to BMSB management is to prevent them from entering structures in the first place. BMSB has a high dispersal capability and consequently, properties can easily become invaded by BMSB from adjacent areas. Structures close to landscaped areas and especially weedy, neglected, or abandoned landscapes are more prone to BMSB infestations. For example, in one 2006 case in San Marino, CA, a garage adjacent to a neglected yard was invaded by so many BMSB adults that the homeowner could no longer park his car in the garage. Any time he did, the bugs would hide under the hood and when the car engine was started, adult bugs would produce their defensive odor, which entered the cabin through the vents.
To prevent BMSB from entering structures, exterior cracks need to be sealed using appropriate sealant materials such as caulk and sealant foams. Doors can be sealed using door sweeps and fitted thresholds. Gaps around window frames, pipes entering structures, and any opening on exterior walls and roofs should also be filled with an appropriate sealant material. Read more about ways to exclude seasonal nuisance pests from structures in this article from the November 2014 issue of UC IPM's Green Bulletin.
Good weed and pest management practices in gardens and landscapes surrounding structures can reduce BMSB populations from building up and invading nearby structures.
Applications of repellent insecticides may prevent BMSB from entering structures in some cases, but their effect may last only for a short time. Therefore, efficacy of such applications depends on the timing of application. Improperly sealed structures may get re-invaded in subsequent seasons by BMSB, so the best long-term solution practice is to invest resources into structural exclusion.
For more information see the UC IPM Pest Notes: Brown Marmorated Stink Bug at www.ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn74169.html.
- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
The stink bugs pose a threat to a wide variety of plants, including home-grown and commercial ornamentals, fruits, vegetables and nuts, said Jhalendra Rijal, the area Integrated Pest Management Advisor with UC Agriculture and Natural Resources. Rijal is based at the UC Cooperative Extension office in Modesto.
BMSB was found in two Stanislaus County locations in recent weeks: outside a business at Kansas Avenue and Highway 99 in Modesto and outside the home of a pest control adviser in Turlock. Rijal said there have been no reports of BMSB in the county's farmland, but they could be out there.
"There is definitely potential for this pest, because it can feed on many host plants in agricultural and urban settings," he said.
"An efficient way to collect stink bugs indoors is by sucking them up with a dry or wet vacuum," the Pest Note says. "The bugs will cause the collection canister or bag and other parts of the vacuum to give off an unpleasant stink bug odor, so some people dedicate a vacuum cleaner to stink bug capture only."
The BMSB Pest Note provides detailed information on monitoring for and managing stink bug infestations.
- Author: Mary Louise Flint
[From the April 2014 issue of the UC IPM Green Bulletin newsletter]
Over the last several decades dozens of exotic pests have invaded California landscapes, causing at least temporary havoc and sometimes severely affecting the aesthetic value of plants or even killing them. Giant whitefly, hackberry woolly aphid, eucalyptus red gum lerp psyllid, Diaprepes root weevil, myoporum thrips, light brown apple moth, spotted wing Drosophila, and olive fruit fly are just a few now established pests that were unknown in the state 25 years ago.
These invaders have come from all over the globe—Asia, Africa, Europe, Australia, Central and South America, and parts of North America. Many new pests arrived on nursery stock; others were imported with shipments of wood, produce, or packing material. Some pests were inadvertently brought in on vehicles or with travelers. Many safeguards including quarantine programs, border inspections, careful procedures at plant nurseries, and outreach programs to educate the public about not moving wood, plants, or produce into the state have had a significant effect in reducing the spread of invasive pests. However, despite these efforts, there is little doubt that new species will continue to arrive.
Five of the newest invaders of concern to landscapers are described in the following paragraphs. For information on these and other exotic pests see the web sites of the UC Riverside Center for Invasive Species Research, the California Department of Food and Agriculture, or the UC Statewide IPM Program.
Goldspotted oak borer. First identified in eastern San Diego County in
Polyphagous shot hole borer. Like the walnut twig beetle, this tiny
Brown Marmorated Stink Bug. A native of Asia, the brown marmorated
This article was originally published in the April 2014 issue of the UC IPM Green Bulletin. See this and other articles at http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/greenbulletin/index.html.