Brown Marmorated Stink Bug
With many native stink bug species looking similar, it is quite hard to positively identify this species. There are a few characteristics that make it stand out, but the easiest way to positively identify them is by looking for 2 white bands on the bug’s antennae. If you are examining one with a magnifying glass you can also look for white bands on the legs, and white triangles pointing inward on its back. Adults can grow from 14-17mm in length.
This insect is originally from Asia but has spread to Europe and North America. Having the largest impact on the central United States. The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug feeds on fruiting crops such as peaches & apples these being just 2 of 35 crop varieties that it prefers to dine on. In the mid-eastern US, the bug is seen as a major agricultural nuisance due to large populations and crop-damaging ability. However, it has 170 additional plant species which it feeds on, so there is no lack of food for this bug. Thankfully this insect has only established itself in pockets around Ontario, but in areas where this bug is out in full force the economic consequences, are in the billions.
This insect can be found in most US states, southern parts of Ontario, Quebec and BC
Impacts & Control
This pest has the potential to be extremely damaging to agricultural crops in Ontario as they target fruiting plants like peaches, grapes and apples. Populations have not established themselves completely yet in Ontario, however, in some regions of Niagara, they are beginning to become an issue.
The monitoring of populations can be done via scent traps and sticky traps. Once they are identified in an area, if there are crops of concern then netting the fruiting plants is suggested This is only really feasible though in smaller scales. So homeowners and small orchards are advised to do this. Homeowners can also seal any gaps in their houses as these bugs like to sneak indoors during the cold winter months. This insect is resistant to many forms of insecticide but there is work being done to determine if its native predator the “Samurai” wasp exclusively hunts the brown marmorated stink bugs larvae can be used to combat it. In its home country, these wasps control 50-80% of stink bug populations.