Brown Marmorated Stink Bug—Plan a Season-Long Management Program and Monitor Diligently

Posted: June 27, 2011

High populations of brown marmorated stink bugs (BMSB) are being observed in and around fruit orchards located mainly in the southern part of Pennsylvania. Also, during our monitoring of orchards that experienced high BMSB pressure last season, we have already detected BMSB injured fruit. It is assumed that most injuries visible to this point were caused by the feeding of the overwintering adults, although new, young 2nd and 3rd instar nymphs were also recently observed feeding on pome and stone fruit. With an extended spring emergence of BMSB adults, it will be impossible to clearly determine the current developmental phase for any particular local BMSB populations. As the season progresses, all developmental stages (i.e., eggs, nymphs and adults) will be present in the orchards at the same time. Additionally, the ability of this pest to survive and reproduce on almost all green plants in our environment, will contribute to a continuous influx of new individuals into orchards from the surrounding vegetation. If last season taught us anything about this pest, we have learned that stink bugs migrating from the surrounding vegetation can cause injuries to fruit throughout the entire season until mid-October.
Photo by Stephen Ausmus

Photo by Stephen Ausmus

Dr. Greg Krawczyk and Dr. Larry Hull, Penn State FREC Entomologists

Multiple insecticide chemistries are available for the control of BMSB but they cannot control stink bugs that are not present in the orchard at the time of the insecticide application(s). And since it is quite possible that in some locations we will experience incessant pressure from this pest, it is extremely important to prepare a season-long BMSB management plan. Since pest pressure just before harvest might be as high or higher than earlier in the season, effective insecticides with the shortest PHI should be preserved for use later in the season. At the same time, since some products can be used multiple times per season, growers must pay particular attention to the number of allowable applications per season as specified on the label. Also, please review the label for the total amount of active ingredient allowed on any particular crop. Another confusing factor to consider is that some products are sold under different names but have the same active ingredient. For all active ingredients, there is only a certain allowable amount that can be applied for the season on any particular crop. For example, thiamethoxam – an active ingredient which is very effective against BMSB – is contained in a number of different products (i.e., Actara®, Voliam Flexi®, Endigo®). Growers are only allowed to use a total of 0.172 lb of active ingredient of thiamethoxam for the entire season on stone fruit regardless of the number of products that contain thiamethoxam.

Please refer to BMSB management information posted on various Penn State web sites for information related to insecticide efficacy and recommended management programs:

a)  - special BMSB management issue of Penn State Fruit Times newsletter;

b) - efficacy information based on the results of direct contact bioassays conducted on overwintering BMSB adults;

c) - weekly insect control updates posted on Penn State FREC web site. 

WEEKLY INSECT BYTES ON FREC WEBSITE:  As during previous years, the Penn State Fruit Research and Extension Center web site located at: is providing Weekly Insect Bytes. In addition to our weekly updates on pest captures ( and insect developmental models ( this part of our web site will provide short updates on current events and happenings related to the management of insect fruit pests (including BMSB updates). 


2011 season weekly captures of adult moths in pheromone traps located at Penn State FREC Biglerville, PA (Adams County): 

Species    5/06   5/13   5/20   5/27   6/02   6/09   6/16   6/23

RBLR            5      2       0       0        0       7       32      26      

STLM         29     17       1       1     135    131      76      88

OFM         298   515      64    174      66      67      29      33       

CM              0    26      37      86      52      35      42      15

TABM           0     1      14      18       7        7        5       1    

OBLR            -     0        0       0        3       3        2       0 

Key to acronyms:  RBLR – redbanded leafroller; STLM – spotted tentiform leafminer; OFM – Oriental fruit moth; CM – codling moth; TABM – tufted apple bud moth; OBLR – obliquebanded leafroller. 


Accumulated degree-days base 43° F from Jan 01 for each reported year (courtesy of SkyBit, Inc.). The accumulated degree-days for the last date of the current year (July 01) mentioned in the table are based on the weather forecast. 

Site/Date                  5/27    6/03    6/10    6/17    6/24    7/01

Biglerville, 2011         1023    1247    1458    1642    1866    2082

Biglerville, 2010         1117    1331    1517    1729    1967    2200

Biglerville, 2009           968    1126    1290    1474    1671    1874

Biglerville, 2008           865    1021    1267    1483    1660    1873

Biglerville, 2007           942    1150    1335    1512    1708    1922

Biglerville, 2006           947    1152    1302    1455    1679    1886 

Rock Spring, 2011        802    1002    1192    1348    1549    1735

Rock Spring, 2010        946    1139    1296    1488    1696    1889

Rock Spring, 2009        789     911    1058    1213    1388    1561

Rock Spring, 2008        665     797    1027    1219    1364    1547

Rock Spring, 2007        788     978    1134    1295    1465    1650

Rock Spring, 2006        765     953    1086    1215    1408    1583