Brown Marmorated Stink Bug
Have You Seen Us?
Brown marmorated stink bugs (BMSB) (Halyomorpha halys) have invaded several blocks in Midtown Sacramento. This insect, about 1/2 to 2/3 inch in length is a strong flyer so it will only be a matter of time before it spreads.
The BMSB is similar in appearance to other bugs including the Consperse Stinkbug (Euschistus conspersus) and Squash Bug (Anasa tristis), both are smaller in size than the BMSB. Note differences in the antennae.
BMSB feed on several dozen species, including apples, pears, cherries, peaches, melons, corn, tomatoes, peppers, berries, wine grapes - just about any plant with a botanical fruit - as well as many ornamentals, especially trees such as Paulownia, Catalpa, and Tree of Heaven. It is also a serious nuisance pest, as it seeks out lights at night and aggregates in sheltered areas in the winter in droves.
BMSB is not a serious pest in east Asia, where it originated, because of control by parasitic wasps. Collections of parasitic wasps (especially Trissolcus) have been made, but it will take 2-3 years before they can be released in California because they need to be tested first. Parasitism is the best hope for reducing populations.
Control of BMSB is very challenging. Some insecticides are effective but must be applied frequently, and sometimes they have simply not worked. Fortunately, years of research have led to the most effective monitoring and control techniques. Control for organic growers and home gardeners and residents will be the most daunting.
What To Do If You Find Bugs
If you find a stink bug that you suspect might be a BMSB, place it in a container and carefully note where and when you collected it. Take the sealed container to the Master Gardener Office, 4145 Branch Center Road, Sacramento, or call (916) 875-6913.