The Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs [BMSB] have been found in 33 states in the U.S. While a serious threat to commercial growers, the invasive bug from Asia is a nuance to everyone else.
While many nuisance insects die off during the winter months, the BMSB seeks refuge indoors only to emerge in the spring. With infestations of the bug expected to reach an all time high in 2011 home owners are searching for ways to deal with the problem.
Commercial companies are bringing out new products from insecticides to traps to help homeowners deal with the problem. But what works and what is a waste of time and money. Here are the latest recommendations from the University of Maryland Extension Service.
Learn to identify the eggs and nymphs and destroy the bugs in the early stages. Visit www.ipmnet.umd.edu and pull up IPM Garden Center Fact Sheet-March 2011. The sheet features photos courtesy of George C. Hamilton, Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences that shows BMSB from eggs to the immature adult stage.
The eggs are light green to white in color. Look for clumps of eggs on the underside of leaves from May through August. Remove the entire leaf and place in a container filled with soapy water.
Pesticide manufactures are advertising chemical products to treat BMSB infestations but according to current research the products provide temporary if any relief. Many pesticides are harmful around humans and pets and warning labels should be carefully read before using around the home.
Several companies have come out with BMSB traps. According to the latest research from the University of Maryland, the black pyramid type stink bug trap is the most effective. Three types of traps were compared including a clear colored canopy deployment, a yellow colored canopy deployment and a black ground deployment.
Samples from the traps were measured two times a week over the course of two months. The black trap proved to be eight times more effective in capturing nymph BMSB and three times more effective in trapping adults then the translucent trap. Compared to the yellow colored trap the results were even higher in favor of the black trap.
Home gardeners are also being advised to plant crops with thicker skins to discourage the BMSB from attacking the garden. Instead of your regular variety of tomato try Juliet, a thick skinned Roma type tomato that BMSB will have a harder time penetrating.
Researchers are working diligently to find a solution to the stink bug problem. Until a cure is found it is up to all of us to do everything we can in our power to fight the Brown Marmorated stink bug menace.