While sitting at my home office desk this rainy afternoon, an annoying BMSB adult started buzzing around my head, landed on the window and then flew to the door, a subtle reminder to write this brief article. Earlier this week I was able to get out and shoot a quick video about identifying, monitoring and managing Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB). If you are interested to learn the current details of how to trap for this pest, take a look at the final video on the OSU IPM YouTube channel (https://youtu.be/PVtY-c92ZdM).
While BMSB has an appetite for most fruit and vegetable crops plus corn, soybean and other hosts, it generally has not developed into a significant pest in Ohio as in states further east and into the mid-Atlantic region. Our efforts to monitor this pest over the years has evolved with new trap designs and aggregation lures. The results of our monitoring seem to suggest the pest is slowly increasingly in the central, southwest and eastern areas of the state.
While BMSB is beginning to become active now, most of the damage can be expected in the summer months on green and ripe fruit. In August and September, BMSB becomes more mobile and is attracted to sticky panel traps baited with pheromone lures. Unfortunately, the only crop with a threshold using the sticky panel traps is apples. For each apple block (ca. 5A) place one baited sticky trap at the edge and one in the interior about 50m away; when either trap catches 4 or more BMSB adults or nymphs, a treatment may be justified. Since BMSB tends to be an edge pest, a perimeter spray may be an effective way to treat this pest instead of the entire orchard.
For other crops, place a trap at the field edge, interior of the field or near a wooded border that is adjacent to a crop field to get an early determination if BMSB is in the area. One of the goals of current BMSB research is to develop more thresholds for other crops to help guide management decisions. Until then growers will have to resort to frequent scouting for nymphs an adults of BMSB and several other pest stink bugs in their crops.
Dr. Celeste Welty has much more information related to identification, biocontrol, damage and treatment of BMSB on her website (https://u.osu.edu/pestmanagement/pests/bmsb/). Additional information can be found at https://www.stopbmsb.org.