Saturday, June 7, 2014

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, part 2

This article is part 2 of my previous BMSB article found here.

BMSB Nymphs.  Two nymphal stages are present. 
Note the color difference
Gary Bernon, USDA APHIS, Bugwood.org
Now is a good time to be on the lookout for the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB).  You may have earlier encountered adults as they emerged from their winter hiding places.  Their task was to lay the next generation's eggs on the underside of host plant foliage.  Now, in early June, the eggs begin to hatch and the BMSB nymphs (juveniles) emerge to feed on their host plant.  As the season progresses, these insects and their damage will become more and more obvious.

Probably these smelly pests aren't in Kitsap county yet, but then again someday they probably will be.  So what do you do if you think you've found one?  Here are some steps to follow:




    Newly hatched BMSB nymphs cluster around their eggs.
    Gary Bernon, USDA APHIS, Bugwood.org
  1. Catch one or more suspects if you can in a vial or jar. This might seem pretty gross to some, but you will have greater success identifying it if you have a specimen that can't run away. 
  2. Compare your specimen to the photos in this post, and in part 1.  I also recommend WSU's Pest Watch: Brown Marmorated Stink Bug.  It has good pictures for distinguishing between BMSB and common look-a-likes.
  3. If after steps 1 and 2, you think you might have found BMSB, you should prepare to report it. This means, taking pictures and placing your sample in a freezer for 24 hours to kill it for possible shipment.  I will provide contact info for the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) below but to make things easier for you, please feel free to contact me.  Send me your digital images and/or a descripton and I will give my opinion.
  4. Contact the WSDA.  Send an email, with photos if you have them (edited for size!) to PestProgram@agr.wa.gov.  Be sure to mention that you may have found a possible brown marmorated stink bug and say what county you found it in.  They should get back to you in a timely fashion.
  5. You might also consider bringing your freezer-killed specimens or photos to a local farmer's market.  Sometimes the Master Gardeners have a booth there and they can assist you.  If they can't identify your sample, they may be able to pass it along to WSU extension for more help.
The WSDA email given in step 4 should be adequate for communication, but here is the full contact info:

Washington State Department of Agriculture
Pest Program
PO Box 42560
Olympia, WA 98504-2560
Phone:  (360) 902-2070
Fax:  (360) 902-2094
PestProgram@agr.wa.gov




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