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Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Management

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug control is challenging. BMSB behavior, reproductive capacities, and tolerance to insecticide toxicity present even greater challenges than native species. Their unrestricted mobility and wide range of host plants means that effective control of one wave of stink bugs in the orchard will not prevent another wave of BMSB from entering the orchard later in the season. The inefficacy of many reduced-risk materials against BMSB has prompted growers to rely on more toxic materials. This can have a detrimental effect on species of beneficial insects and can undermine IPM strategies.

In New England, we are only beginning to see the affects of BMSB. Recommendations are drawn largely from the experience of growers in the Mid-Atlantic region and NY. There are no established thresholds for BMSB. While the detection of BMSB adults in the orchard does not always warrant an insecticide application, it is a good indicator of possible nymphal presence in the orchard. If BMSB nymphs are present, then treatment is almost always necessary.  A conservative estimate of 1 adult per 100' of tree fruit row along the wooded edge can be used to begin a management program. Watch for feeding wounds on fruit in during extended hot, dry weather. Treat if fruit damage approaches 1%. Three management strategies should be considered to best manage this pest once it threatens tree fruit.

  1. Directed Perimeter Applications: When BMSB are found along the perimeter of the orchard, a directed application along the perimeter row can be made, blowing material in toward the orchard center using effective insecticides. Spraying the wooded edge is not permitted. A second directed application along the perimeter row of the orchard would be made 5–7 days later. Follow-up with additional intensive scouting 3–4 days later, as residual efficacy is very limited.
  2. Alternate row middle (ARM) applications: aging residues of many of the insecticides become relatively ineffective after 4–5 days. As BMSB are quite mobile, moving from tree to tree to feed and mate, applying ARM applications (applying insecticides to only one side of the tree) provides a practical solution to "refreshing" insecticide residue in orchards with active BMSB. If adults or nymphs continue to be found after perimeter applications are made and/or later in the season as 2nd generation adults emerge, use of alternate row middle applications to blocks where BMSB has been observed should be considered.
  3. Whole Orchard Applications: Whole orchard applications of effective insecticides should be used later in the season (late July to end of season) when populations begin intense fruit feeding prior to movement to overwintering sites

If repeated pesticides are necesssary, rotate active ingredients to avoid resistance in local populations. Actara, Danitol, Lannate and Vydate have FIFRA section 2(ee) registrations for BMSB; the labeling must be in the possession of the user at the time of pesticide. For best effectiveness and insecticide resistance management, the use of pre-mixes such as Endigo, Leverage and Voliam Xpress should be reserved for those situations when the pest complex to be treated is appropriately matched to the combination of active ingredients and modes of action contained in the product.

There is a growing body of data on insecticide efficacy. A lethality index of materials has been developed by scientists in the BMSB working group headed by USDA entomologist Tracy Lesky. See links below for tables of insecticide timing and mortality rates.


2015 Stop BMSB Research Update Videos:

Brown marmorated stink bug pesticide options (apple and pear, 2019)