by Joe Barile, BCE, Technical Service Lead, Pest Management & Public Health, Envu Environmental Science
The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB), Haylomorpha halys, is an invasive pest insect that originates in Asia. First reports in the U.S. were made in Pennsylvania in the late 1990s. Today, this insect is found throughout the eastern two thirds of the U.S., on the West Coast and in Southern Canada.
BMSB is a serious agricultural pest in North America, attacking many tree fruits, berries, soybeans and succulent portions of ornamentals. Farmers have had to abandon IPM programs to prevent damage to their crops. For Pest Management Professionals (PMPs), this insect is a nuisance pest where large numbers of bugs move onto and into homes in late summer seeking overwintering sites (very similar to cluster flies, Asian lady beetles and boxelder bugs).
BMSB is not a pest of public health, nor does it damage structures directly. However, numbers of invading bugs can be dramatic.
BMSB adults are about ¾ inch long (see photo) and an overall brown color with light bands on their antennae. Their abdomen is covered with a distinct ‘mosaic’ pattern of blue/brown markings along the margin of their body (exposed on nymphs, under the wings of adults).
It is not completely understood how many generations occur each season. BMSB overwinter as adults and begin to congregate on structures in mid-to-late summer.
// Photo: Susan Ellis, Bugwood.org
Because this is an invasive pest, natural and biological controls have not established themselves against BMSB. Populations invading from natural areas will remain very high for years.
Non-chemical control: as with any nuisance invader, exclusion is the most permanent method of controlling BMSB:
// Seal openings around window and door frames.
// Make sure screens (window, door and vents) are in good repair.
// Check utility entrances (gas, water, electric, phone, cable) and seal appropriately.
// Trim ornamental shrub and tree branches off the building surface to prevent direct access and promote air flow around the structure.
Customers that experience BMSB activity should be advised to expect annual reoccurrences until natural controls establish a balanced population.
Envu Temprid® FX is effective as both a contact and residual insecticide against BMSB.
Temprid FX may be applied against BMSB in states that allow application against non-labeled pests where the site(s) of application are present on the label. Temprid allows for perimeter applications on and around structures and foliar applications on non-blooming plants.*
In 2010, Envu Environmental Science (BES) performed a series of demonstration trials with PMPs against BMSB. As a result of these trials, BES has formulated a Service Recommendation utilizing Temprid FX during the summer months to manage populations around structures to reduce the build-up of this nuisance pest.
*Check local regulations for compliance.
For more information, contact your local Envu Pest Management & Public Health Representative.