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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The brown marmorated stink bug

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Last October, reports came that Indiana had a new exotic plant pest that was in the northern part of the state.

The pest was determined to be the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug. The bug is a native of Japan, Korea and China.

It was not reported in the United States until 1998, when it was located in Pennsylvania. Since then, it has been located throughout other eastern states. It is assumed that this exotic plant pest was introduced through international trade.

The bug gets its name for two reasons. First, because it releases a pungent chemical as a defense mechanism when it feels threatened.

Second, because the upper body of the brown marmorated stink bug is mottled brown and gray with alternating light and dark bands on the edges of its abdomen. It will also have two light bands on the last two segments of its antennae.

The bug can have an impact on homeowners and farmers.

Homeowners will be annoyed by this pest since its behavior is similar to the Asian Lady Beetle. Like the Asian Lady Beetle, the stink bug comes indoors during the winter. Thus, it is important that homeowners take time now to caulk around windows and repair screens to prevent an invasion of either insect species. If either of these two species get into your house, you should vacuum them up and dispose of your vacuum cleaner bag. If you do have an invasion occurring, you can treat the outside of your house with an insecticide. Insecticide active ingredients of bifenthrin, cyhalothrin, cyfluthrin and cypermethrin have been proven to be most effective against the brown marmorated stink bug.

Farmers are impacted by the bug by the damage they can do to crops. The brown marmorated stink bug will use its sucking mouthparts to feed on a variety of plants that are produced locally. Some of the crops they impact include vegetables, corn, soybeans and various ornamental plants. When these insects feed on the crop they can cause small spots of dead tissue resulting in misshapen fruit. If the feeding occurs later in the growing season, it can result in water-soaked lesions on the fruit.

Hopefully, we do not receive any reports of the brown marmorated stink bug this far south this year.

However, if you think you might have one, please catch the insect and bring it to your local Purdue Extension Office.

As always, if you have any questions or would like information on any agriculture, horticulture or natural resource topic, then please contact your local Purdue Extension Office at 448-9041 in Clay County or 812-829-5020 in Owen County, or reach me directly at smith535@purdue.edu.

Purdue University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution.

Upcoming opportunities available to you through Purdue Extension include:

* Sept. 30 -- Entry deadline for Indiana Beef Evaluation Program. For more information, log on to www.ansc.purdue.edu/ibep;,

* Oct. 4 -- Clay County Extension Board meeting,

* Oct. 8 -- Midwest Hair Sheep Sale, 1 p.m., Washington County Fairgrounds in Salem, Ind.,

* Oct. 17 -- Final Master Naturalist Class Session, 6-9 p.m., Clay County Extension Office, and

* Oct. 20 -- Calico Extension Homemaker's Club meeting.