Monday, October 15, 2012

Live brown marmorated stink bugs in Iowa

The first specimen of brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB)  in Iowa was confirmed last February in Cedar Rapids. Since then, several other dead BMSB have been confirmed by our ISU Insect Diagnostician, Laura Jesse. Recently, there have been some live detections near Davenport and Bettendorf, Iowa.

Brown marmorated stink bugs have a marbled coloration, and white-banded antennae. Photo by Laura Jesse, ISU. 

These stink bugs are established along the east coast for about a decade. They have been migrating westward in the U.S. When they invade a new area, they are typically considered an urban pest. They attempt to overwinter in human structures similar to boxelder bugs and multicolored Asian lady beetle. But they eventually become a pest of fruit and field crops. Adults and nymphs will probe fruit and leaves, causing necrotic spots. BMSB feeding can severely deform soybean, and cause "stay green" along soybean field edges. 

Stink bug feeding during the seed fill stage can cause deformation, shrinkage and discoloration in soybean. Photo by Galen Dively, University of Maryland. 

At this time, we don't know if BMSB is established in Iowa, or if a few individuals have hitchhiked here. If you suspect BMSB around your home or buildings, submit samples to the ISU Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic. Instructions for submitting samples can be found here.