Be on the Lookout for the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

Published on: 12:58PM Jul 20, 2011

Dr. Roy Boykin

The growing season is in full swing and the brown marmorated stinkbug (BMSB) has growers across an increasing number of states on the lookout for this pod feeding insect.  

Originally found in China, Korea and Japan, the BMSB was first identified in the U.S. in Pennsylvania in 2001. This invasive species is an excellent hitchhiker and has moved through various forms of transportation, including cars, trucks, campers and trains. Additionally, this pest can live off more than 300 host plants, including a wide range of crops.. Today, the BMSB is believed to have disseminated into 33 states.
If sightings of the BMSB have been reported in your area, it is important to scout early and to be sure you know what to look for.
The adult insect is described as about one-half inch long, shield-shaped and "marbled" brown in color. It is distinguishable from other pests by its alternating black-and-white color pattern on the margins of the abdomen, and its dark-colored antennae marked with light-colored bands.

Similar to other stinkbugs, BMSB nymphs and adults have a piercing-sucking type of mouthpart. In order to obtain plant nutrients, the insects use these mouthparts to pierce the plant in a straw-like fashion. For this reason, damage to host plants from the BMSB is typically small necrotic areas but ranges from leaf stippling, catfacing on tree fruits, seed loss and transmission of plant pathogens, according to research at Rutgers University.

To prevent and stop damage from the BMSB’s insatiable appetite, scout early and act decisively. While you may not always see the insect, be on the lookout for small necrotic spots on leaf surfaces that can often result from feeding damage. Give your fields the best protection from the BMSB by selecting an insecticide that provides three industry-leading technologies that work together to provide fast knockdown and longer residual control, delivering higher potential yield and profit.

Dr. Roy Boykin, Senior Technical Brand Manager, Insecticides, Syngenta Crop Protection
Roy is responsible for the technical development, positioning and product life cycle management of insecticides for all business units in the NAFTA Region. Roy received his undergraduate education at the College of Charleston with majors in biology and business and received his master’s/doctorate degrees in entomology with minors in plant pathology and crop science from North Carolina State University.