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June 16, 2005

Contact: Gaye L. Williams, Maryland Department of Agriculture
(410) 841-5920 or williagl@mda.state.md.us


The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug is the June Invader of the Month

photo: Deepak Matahda

H. halys ANNAPOLIS, MD (June 16, 2005) - Unfortunately being stinky is not the only claim to fame for the brown marmorated stink bug, an Asian pest that was recently discovered in the Northeast United States. Because this new exotic insect has the potential to damage many agricultural crops and ornamentals, it has earned “Invader of the Month” status for June, 2005.

The presence of this stink bug (Halyomorpha halys) was first confirmed in 2001 in Pennsylvania and has since been found in New Jersey, West Virginia, Oregon, and Maryland; however, the list will continue to grow as natural and human-aided movement occurs.

Brown marmorated stink bugs overwinter as adults in protected places and may seek shelter in houses (much like boxelder bugs and ladybird beetles). If disturbed or crushed, they emit a typical fruity, stinkbug odor that adds “insult to invasion.” State officials are concerned that this insect may shift from buildings and backyards to agricultural settings and cause economic losses on crops, including many fruits, ornamental plants, and soybeans as it has in its native land.

In the spring, adults become active and lay eggs on vegetation. Nymphs emerge and feed through the growing season, finally developing into the adult stage by autumn. Adult stink bugs are about 5/8 inch long, grey – brown mottled in color with alternating dark and light bands on the antennae and legs. Larger nymphs lack wings but are otherwise similar in appearance.

The brown marmorated stink bug has already been confirmed several times in the Hagerstown, Md. area, but the Maryland Department of Agriculture is interested in monitoring the further spread of this pest. Since the brown marmorated stink bug looks much like some common native stinkbugs that also wander into houses, identification needs to be confirmed by MDA entomologists. If you live outside of Washington County and think you have seen these insects, please contact the Plant Protection Section at 410-841-5920 for sampling instructions.

For more information about brown marmorated stink bug and other Invasive Species of Concern, visit www.mdinvasivesp.org

photos available electronically on request.

BMSB on Asian pear BMSB on raspberry
BMSB on Asian pear
Deepak Matadha, Rutgers University
BMSB on raspberry
Karen Berhnard, Pennsylvania Cooperative Extension
BMSB hatching eggs BMSB on green beans
BMSB eggs hatching
Gary Bernon, USDA APHIS
BMSB on green beans
Deepak Matadha, Rutgers University

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