The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug is a fairly new pest that hops growers are finding to be a nuisance on their crops. This bug was originally found in the Asian countries of China, Japan, Taiwan, and the Korean peninsula. It was accidentally transported to the U.S. from imports and the first specimen was found in 1998. By 2012, the pests had entered 40 states, as well as parts of southern Canada.
The brown marmorated stink bug feeds on a large host of plants by piercing the plant tissue and extracting the fluids. This causes significant dehydration of plant tissue and decay of leaf structures. This stink bug does not contain the ability to bite humans though.
They are typically found on hops around the mid-summer months beginning in June. The females deposit their eggs on the underside of the hop leaves. Once the eggs hatch (Fig 1), the resulting nymphs begin feeding on the plant tissue. They go through several nymph stages before reached adulthood (Fig 2 & Fig 3).
Controls for this pest are limited as they are beginning to show signs of resistance to pyrethroid insecticides, and most other controls that may be useful are still in field trials. Natural predators such as wasps and birds are just now starting to consider these bugs as a potential food source. However, the bugs are still significantly outpacing the levels of controls.
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