Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB)
About the brown marmorated stink bug...
This invasive insect presents two types of problems: it can be a significant household nuisance, and a serious agricultural pest.
In late August and early September, these stink bugs instinctively search crevices and cracks, looking for a protected location to overwinter. In nature, this includes rock hollows and cliffs. In a populated area, BMSBs may crawl into recessed areas of vehicles, like weather stripping of doors, and inside fuel filler doors. There is some evidence that they prefer white vehicles. They can become a significant nuisance in homes and other buildings, massing on the outside of buildings, looking for a way in. Buildings close to many trees seem to be the most heavily hit. In addition to the searching instinct, they also secrete an odor that attracts other BMSBs. In states where this insect has been living for several years or longer, hundreds of insects can get indoors. From late August to early or mid-September they are also attracted to lights. As this problem becomes more serious, people will have to think about thoroughly screening air conditioners and other routes of entry into buildings. This has to be done before the insects begin searching, which is at the end of August. We know of one New Hampshire neighborhood in Portsmouth that has experienced a taste of the nuisance already.
Eventually, farmers might suffer serious damage to their crops. It is already happening to dozens of fruit, vegetable, ornamental and field crops in the mid-Atlantic states. With luck, our cooler, shorter growing season will slow the insect’s increase, compared to warmer states.
Is BMSB in New Hampshire?
Brown marmorated stinkbug has currently (September 2011) been found in every state east of the Mississippi River, plus Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington (33 total). In New Hampshire it has been found in Portsmouth, Stratham, Rochester and Chichester.
The host range is very wide, and new hosts are documented in North America every year. Currently they include tree fruit, small fruit, vegetables, shade trees, sweet & field corn. Among ornamentals: maples, dogwood, crabapples, hawthorns, elms, sycamore, serviceberry. We are too far north for one highly favored host to survive:Paulownia tomentosa (Empress tree).
We anticipate that in New Hampshire the insect will have one generation per year. Adults overwinter in protected places, like crevices in structures and inside walls. They should begin emerging in May (?). They begin laying eggs about 2 weeks after emergence. Nymphs should be found in spring and summer, and overwintered adults might be found on plants as late as July. New adults may appear as early as August.
So far in New Hampshire, nuisance problems have been detected in only one neighborhood in Portsmouth.
IPM Specialist Alan Eaton conducted a building survey for this insect in September, 2011 - click here to read more.
Identifying the BMSB
Adult brown marmorated stinkbugs are brown, about 2/3 inch (16 mm) long and 1/3 inch (9 mm) wide. They have banded antennae (alternating dark and light bands). The rear edges of the body have a white and dark pattern (thus “marmorated”).
Let us know if you see this insect!
We need your help. We want to find out where BMSB occurs in New Hampshire. Let us know if you see this species in or on your New Hampshire home. Verbal descriptions are not much use, but clear, close-up photos or specimens are helpful. We want to track this insect in NH and how it builds in numbers.
1) UNH Cooperative Extension Education Center, Manchester - handles many types of questions, not just about stinkbugs
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Call: 1-877-398-4769
2) Dr. Alan Eaton, UNH Cooperative Extension Specialist
Email: email@example.com or Call: 603-862-1734
3) Piera Siegert, State Entomologist
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Call: 603-271-2561