A new type of stink bug that has caused crop damage in parts of the East and South is on the move west and north. Growers are asked to be on the watch for the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB), which was spotted in Illinois for the first time last fall. The bug is expected to be prevalent this year and will cause significant damage to crops, including corn and soybeans as well as fruits and vegetables.

The BMSB was imported to the United States from Asia and first spotted in 1998. It has few natural predators and many host plants. The BMSB looks a little different from the traditional stink bugs found in the Corn Belt. Entomologists from the University of Illinois say that the BMSB has a mottled brown color, a white abdomen, and white bands on the edge of the abdomen and legs.

The stink bug lays eggs on the undersides of leaves from June to August, and the eggs hatch in 3 to 7 days. The bugs will feed on host plants all season long, eating through husks on corn and pods on soybeans. As a result, corn kernels and soybeans will shrivel. The peak movement for these stink bugs is September and October when homeowners will see them gather in homes, barns and garages.

In Pennsylvania, damage from stink bugs is so prevalent that 20% of all fruit grown there was injured by the bugs. This year, a new web-based tool will map the infestation of BMSB in Pennsylvania. Penn State in cooperation the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture developed the mapping tool. It can be found at stinkbug-info.org/

Insecticides from DuPont

Fortunately, entomologists and companies are learning what pesticides will control the insects. DuPont, for example, recently announced that Lannate SP and Lannate LV insecticides may be used to control the brown marmorated stink bug on some grain crops, as well as fruits and vegetables. These products are approved for all states, except Texas, South Carolina and New Hampshire.

Another product from DuPont, Vydate L insecticide/nematicide, can be used for stink bug control in 19 states. DuPont Crop Protection has issued Sec. 2(ee) recommendations for Lannate brands and Vydate L in accordance with the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).

For a complete list of states and crops included in the 2(ee) recommendations and other information, visit lannate.dupont.com and vydate.dupont.com.