What is all the talk about the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug?
Since the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) first appeared in Allentown, Penn., in 2001, it has become a serious pest of fruits, vegetables, other crops and ornamentals throughout the mid-Atlantic region. The stink bug continues to spread to other regions within the United States wreaking havoc on various crops and causing a nuisance to people in residential areas.
How did BMSB get into the United States?
The BMSB is native to China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. Although no one knows for sure when and how the BMSB ended up in the United States, some speculate that it came in through an imported commodity such as an auto parts container, manufacturing equipment, textiles, office supplies, or agricultural products in the early 1990s. All of these products arrive in the United States from Asia in boxes, crates, or shipping containers, making an easy hiding place for a stink bug to catch a ride.
Would APHIS regulations prevent the spread of BMSB?
Enforcing regulations to prevent the spread of the BMSB is not possible because it can spread to new areas by hitchhiking on any mode of transportation. There is no way to effectively enforce such a program without causing additional economic hardship to growers and the general public. Further, this pest survives the winter by hiding out in natural habitats such as cracks and crevices in rock faces as well as in homes and other buildings.
What is USDA doing to fight the BMSB?
USDA's Agricultural Research Service is researching the use of parasitic wasps from Asia to comat the BMSB. These tiny wasps, which are harmless to humans, lay their eggs in the stink bug's eggs. When the wasp eggs hatch, the young wasps eat the stink bug egg, and then emerge to reproduce and make even more wasps. USDA is also researching other strategies to trap and control this pest.
News and Information
Severe is defined as locations where the BMSB has caused agricultural damage.
Nuisance Only is defined as locations where the BMSB has been detected in large numbers, but has not caused significant agricultural damage.
Detected is defined as locations where low numbers of the BMSB have been found, but they have not been defined as a nuisance or having severe impact to agriculture.