America has a new pest. Presenting Halyomorpha halys also known as the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB). This pest is a newcomer to North America. Adult bugs measure 5/8 inch and have a dark mottled brown coloring. This bug's last 2 antenna segments alternate between dark and light bands. Its eggs are laid from June to August. BMSB nymphs are yellowish with red and black mottled coloring. The bug goes through five stages. They can produce two or more generations with a year.
BMSB feed on a long list of plans from legumes, vegetables, fruit trees, and ornamental plans. Nymphs feed at a shallow level producing cosmetic damage while adults dig deeper and leave more serious damage. Plant damage ranges from necrosis and/or stippling in leaves to pitting and water soaked lesions in fruit. Adults can damage fruit so much that it makes the fruit unfit for sale. They also cause deformation or whitish areas in some fruit and vegetables. They can also deform fruit or cause incomplete development.
You can manage BMSB by buying resistant varieties. There is, for example, a BMSB-resistant tomato variety called Juliet. Gardeners should familiarize themselves with this pest's appearance at different parts of its life cycle and knock or handpick bugs into a soap solution container. Keep them out of your house by using screens and caulking cracks and using weather stripping.
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