Monday, May 30, 2011

BMSB Working Group Web Site

A great place to find information on the brown marmorated stink bug is the BMSB Working Group Home Page at the Northeastern IPM Center.  Click on the link below to access this site.

http://www.northeastipm.org/index.cfm/working-groups/bmsb-working-group/

BMSB Field Activity Update

We have begun to observe increasing BMSB activity in the field. Adults have been found in commercial orchards in MD and WV.  Mating pairs have been found in mulberry trees as well as a number of other hardwoods.  Eggs and nymphs have been confirmed in Southern MD.  Below is a photo of a BMSB adult feeding on a developing peach.




Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Scientists Keep Up The Fight Against Stink Bugs

BY BETH PARKER/myfoxdc
KEARNEYSVILLE, WVa, - Now that the weather's warming, you may be seeing stink bugs again. Guess what? They were in your house all winter long - hibernating. Here’s a behind the scenes look at what researchers are doing to fight back.

It may look like something out of a creepy movie, but it's the science of the stink bug.
"When they go to the light bulb on the ceiling fan or they go to the side of your house or they bounce off the television screen, they're making a decision," says Starker Wright.
Wright is a support entomologist at the Appalachian Fruit Research Station of the U.S.D.A. Agricultural Research Service. He's working on what's called a light box experiment.
"Into the box we're controlling both the wave length and the intensity of the light that comes in," said Wright.
Once a stink bug is released into the box, they wait to see if the stink bug gravitates toward a particular type of light. A stink bug that moves toward the light is an insect that would have entered a trap and been removed from the population. Right now fighting the stink bug is a major priority.
"We know that growers incurred a lot of losses last year. U.S. Apple(Association) estimated that there were 37 million dollars in losses just in apple here in the mid-Atlantic in 2010," says Dr. Tracy Leskey of the U.S.D.A.
Farmers are getting help from U.S.D.A. research. Traps are already deployed at farms and orchards in Virginia, Maryland and West Virginia. They're called pyramid traps because of their shape. The traps are black because research shows stink bugs are drawn to dark colors.
Researchers say they are learning to manage the stink bug instead of the stink bug managing all of us.


Read more: http://www.myfoxdc.com/dpp/news/scientists-keep-up-the-fight-against-stink-bugs-042611#ixzz1KjEyJ1lg


Scientists Keep Up The Fight Against Stink Bugs

Monday, April 25, 2011

Can Wasps Squash The Stink Bug Plague?

April 26, 2011
The brown marmorated stink bug has inundated the mid-Atlantic, taking its toll on crops across the region. Researchers are investigating whether a type of parasitic was can bring down stink bug numbers.
Jeff Wildonger/USDA Beneficial Insect Research Lab The brown marmorated stink bug has inundated the mid-Atlantic, taking its toll on crops across the region. Researchers are investigating whether a type of parasitic was can bring down stink bug numbers.
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April 26, 2011 from WAMU
Home is where the heart is. It's also probably where a lot of stink bugs are right now, crawling out from cracks and crevices. They were somehow introduced into Allentown, Pa. from Asia in the 1990s, and have been spreading ever since, reaching seemingly plague-like proportions in the mid-Atlantic states. But an experiment is underway to re-introduce the stink bug to its mortal enemy: a parasitic Asian wasp.
The shield-shaped brown marmorated stink bugs descended on the mid-Atlantic region with the fury of a plague last year. If you try to crush them or vacuum them up, they release a smell like cilantro and burning rubber.
But for Bob Black, who runs Catoctin Mountain Orchard in Thurmont, Md., they're more than just a nuisance. It's about money.
"This thing is gonna put a big chapter in my book of life. I mean I've never had anything affect me like this," he says.
Just like many other farmers across the region, Black saw a lot of his crops decimated by marmorated stink bugs. They take their long needle-like mouthpiece and stick it into the flesh of fruits and vegetables, leaving them bruised and disfigured.

Enlarge Sabri Ben-Achour/WAMU Kathy Tatman removes jars from an insect growth chamber at a quarantine lab at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Beneficial Insects Introduction Research Unit. Most insects can't see red, so the red light lights essentially keep the insects in the dark, making them less likely to fly around and escape.
Kathy Tatman removes jars from an insect growth chamber at a quarantine lab at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Beneficial Insects Introduction Research Unit. Most insects can't see red, so the red light lights essentially keep the insects in the dark, making them less likely to fly around and escape.
Sabri Ben-Achour/WAMU
Kathy Tatman removes jars from an insect growth chamber at a quarantine lab at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Beneficial Insects Introduction Research Unit. Most insects can't see red, so the red light lights essentially keep the insects in the dark, making them less likely to fly around and escape.
"One of our late varieties — Pink Lady — we had 50 percent damage on that," he says. "I can handle a few percent, but gets up to 25 percent, 50 percent — that's pretty devastating to me."
And as Black discovered, his usual pesticides didn't really do much.
"This one can actually play in it and eat it, and it won't even kill it — that's how tough this insect is," he says.
And this year, the stink bug invasion will probably be worse.
"We're gonna hear a collective wail up and down the East Coast as hordes of these things come out of people's attics and find their way outdoors," says Mike Raup, an entomologist at the University of Maryland.
"They're now found in more than 30 states, as far west as Washington and California, as far south as Florida they've been detected," he says. "But right here in the mid-Atlantic region — this is ground zero for the brown marmorated stink bug."
He says at the core, the problem is pretty basic. "When they escaped Asia, they simply arrived here without their natural enemies.
Invading The Invader
A hundred miles away in Newark, Del., that is exactly what scientists are studying at a U.S. Department of Agriculture insect lab. Outside a red door marked "Quarantine," entomologists Kim Hoelmer and Kathy Tatman are suiting up.
Behind the door are a myriad of insects being evaluated to see if they can fight invasive foreign pests that have gone wild in North America. The corridors of the complex are bathed in dark red light, which minimizes insect flight movement.
"Because most insects can't see red, this looks like a dark room to them," says Hoelmer.
Everything is designed to prevent escape, including the building's air and water systems.
Tatman pulls out tray after tray of little vials and Petri dishes from modules whose temperature, light, and humidity are precisely controlled. It's an insect growth chamber. Inside the vials, rafts of tiny pearly green orbs sit on leaves. They're stink bug eggs.
"This is a typical example of a fresh brown marmorated stink bug egg mass," Hoelmer says. "Twenty-five to 30 eggs. We're exposing them to female Trissolcus wasps."
The tiny black dots are zipping around in the jars. Just two millimeters long, the parasitoid Trissolcus wasps, from China, Japan and Korea, don't look like much more than gnats. They don't bite or sting and they feed on nectar, but in Asia, they are the natural nemesis of the brown marmorated stink bug.
"These small wasps will deposit their eggs inside the stink bug eggs. Then the parasite egg hatches, and the immature feeds on the inside of the stink bug egg," Hoelmer says. In a few weeks, out pops a new wasp, and no stink bug. Hoelmer says these wasps are extremely specialized.
"If they can't find stink bugs or stink bug eggs to lay their own eggs in, they'll die. They can't survive on anything else," Hoelmer says.
Weeding The bad From The Good
There are about 300 types of stink bugs in the U.S., and some of them are very helpful as predators of agricultural pests.
Enlarge Sabri Ben-Achour/WAMU There are about 300 types of stink bugs in the U.S., and some of them are very helpful as predators of agricultural pests.
Sabri Ben-Achour/WAMU
There are about 300 types of stink bugs in the U.S., and some of them are very helpful as predators of agricultural pests.
There are almost 300 types of stink bugs in the United States, and a lot of them are helpful because they eat other pests. So Hoelmer needs to know if these wasps would ever go after other stink bugs, including stink bugs that are closely related to the brown marmorated stink bugs. That's what he's testing in the vials in his lab.
"If they don't attack any of the close relatives, they won't be as likely to attack more distant ones."
It will take three years before he's satisfied that the wasps don't pose a risk. Hoelmer points to examples where this has worked before — gypsy moths were controlled by an introduced fungus, and white flies in California were cut down by other parasitic wasps.
Back at Catoctin Mountain Orchard, Bob Black can't wait.
"Using the wasp will hopefully be our answer, I mean we've had other things — drought, other issues — but this insect is one of the toughest things that we're gonna have to work on."
Until then, seven states are asking the Environmental Protection Agency to relax pesticide regulations. And researchers are looking at pheromones, traps and naturally repellent landscape plants — none of which are considered fully effective.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Damage to Apple Crop in the Mid-Atlantic Estimated at $37 Million Dollars in 2010

Stink bugs caused $37 million in damage to apple growers in four mid-Atlantic states.
Apple stink bug damage totals $37 million

Growers in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland and West Virginia lost crops to the brown marmorated stink bug in 2010, according to an April 13 U.S. Apple Association estimate.
About 18% of the fresh-market apples produced in those states was affected, said Mark Seetin, U.S. Apple’s director of regulatory and industry affairs.
As a percentage of total volume, Maryland was hardest hit, with 32% of the state’s fresh-market apples affected, Seetin said. Virginia, a larger producer than Maryland, suffered the largest volume loss.

Read complete article here:
http://thepacker.com/UPDATED--Apple-stink-bug-damage-totals--37-million/Article.aspx?oid=1317504&fid=PACKER-TOP-STORIES&aid=684

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Where You can Report a BMSB Sighting!

Are you on the map?  Has BMSB been found in your area?





If you have a suspected BMSB specimen, here is what you can do.  Visit this site hosted by Dr. George Hamilton, Rutgers University to report a new sighting. 


  https://njaes.rutgers.edu/stinkbug/report.asp