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brown marmorated stink bugs

Posted by Peter Fisher 
brown marmorated stink bugs
February 24, 2013 03:44PM
They've been spotted in eastern Iowa and could find their way to my orchard this year or next. For those who have already had the pleasure of their company, is there any way to get out in front of this problem? Any way to deal with it period?

Turkey Creek Orchard
Solon, Iowa (zone 5A)
Re: brown marmorated stink bugs
April 21, 2013 05:16AM
In 2010, later in the season, as peaches, on a seedling white peach tree, began to mature, about the end of July, I started to get a lot of feeding on the fruit, by adults and many nymphs (about half grown, scurrying over the fruit), I don't recall a lot of damage, but brownrot as usual was playing havoc with the crop, BMSB feeding punctures may have (likely) exacerbated the brownrot incidence (75%?). As I recall they were still in the tree after fruit was gone and it being near the house we had a lot of stinkbugs coming inside that fall.
In the spring 2011 there was a horrendous amount of damage by adults feeding on young fruit. By the time they were the diameter of quarters to golfball size at June drop 80% were aborted. Many had 10 to 20 feeding punctures. I have pictures if I can figure out how to post them. What did not abort nearly all had distortions and corky areas beneath the skin; with less than 5% escaping with no damage. I had sprayed for first and probably 2nd generation OFM with Pyganic, but it seemed to have minimal effect on the BMSB. Contrary to 2010 they seemed to disappear by the time the fruit was maturing, and there was less presence of adults coming into house to overwinter. Now that I reflect on it, maybe there was an effect on nymphs that didn't mature later in the summer, but the pyganic was not enough to knock down the overwintered adults, and early feeding damage.
This past year 2012, there was little or no damage from BMSB, nor were there any adults or nymphs visible. I sprayed Spinosad for OFM, !st gen only, with excellent control(no tip flagging); and also used Surround for the first time. I don't think Spinosad has any effect on BMSB but Surround does offer some deterence, according to Greg Krawczyk, head entomologist, of Penn State FREC in his studies. Also BMSB is very mobile and variable in its feeding patterns (both timing and crop) thus with such inconsistency; no one really knows how they will behave one season to the next. So maybe I just had the luck of them moving on. Sabadilla lily seed alkaloid has activity against squash bugs so very likely would control BMSB also, though as far as I know it is currently unavailable in USA. I had some 15 year old Sabadilla powder sitting around( it has the curious habit of becoming stronger with age); so I gave it to Greg K. to trail in his assays for efficacy of most insecticides on BMSB in vitro, but I never got a report back and forgot to ask the last time we talked. Enhanced foliar nutrition may have played a role later in the season but it was not in place early except for a stable standardized compost tea I used called Holganix. Mid season I added 2 foliar nutrients, Sea90 (sea solids micros) and a liquid macro and micro nutrients with phosphoric acid called Fruit Mix (from Lancaster Ag Products, Ronks, PA).

Hope this is helpful and when you do get them they don't stay put but move on elsewhere.
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