Brown marmorated stink bug spreading to agricultural areas
Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is a new invasive insect pest of several crops including tree fruits, ornamentals, vegetable and field crops. This stink bug decimated mainly tree fruits, peaches and apples in the Mid-Atlantic region in the year 2010, and since then, it has become a major pest that needs an aggressive management program to keep the population under control during the growing season there. In California, BMSB population has been noticeably high beginning Fall-2013 in Sacramento midtown/downtown areas and has been a severe nuisance problem there. To date, there are 9 Counties with reproducing BMSB population reported in residential areas; however, BMSB detection in agricultural crops in California is very new. In fact, the CAPCA article linked here is the first report of finding BMSB in any crops in California. We are catching BMSB in traps in commercial peach orchards in the current season as well. In few instances, we found eggs, nymphs, and adults feeding on peaches, nectarines in orchards in Stanislaus County. We need to be vigilant about this pest. Currently, we are working on several aspects such as determining phonology of BMSB in different regions in CA, optimization of monitoring traps, and other management options.
Recently hatched BMSB nymphs surrounding the egg mass in a nectarine leaf
BMSB nymph on peach fruit with recently hatched nymphs on the leaf (right)
BMSB adult on peach leaf
Stink bug damaged nectarine fruit
Internal white spongy spots due to stink bug feeding in nectarine