The invasive insect pest Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB), Halyomorpha halys, was recently introduced into the United States from its native range in Japan, Korea, and China. BMSB is a voracious plant eater that can cause serious economic damage to fruits and vegetables, and to some agronomic and ornamental crops. Preferred fruit crops are peach, Asian pear, pear, apple, cherry, raspberry, grape, and currant. Some agronomic crops that can be damaged by this pest are soybean and corn. Among vegetables, BMSB seems to prefer green beans, asparagus, and peppers. Crabapple, persimmon, catalpa, walnut, maple, basswood, sweet gum, redbud, honeysuckle, and American holly are only some of the ornamental trees/shrubs that can be used by BMSB to feed and reproduce.

Has BMSB become established in Missouri?

The answer to this question seems to be yes, at least for one region in Missouri. As part of a monitoring system deployed by the Lincoln University IPM program, on August 24th, 2015, one BMSB nymph (immature stage) was collected near St. Louis (Ferguson area) using sweep nets. No BMSB adults were recorded on that date in pheromone-baited traps.

On September 28th, 2015, 26 adult BMSB were captured in two pheromone-baited traps in the same location. The presence of both adults and immature stages at a single location is strong evidence that BMSB has become established at least near the St. Louis area. We suspect this might be the case in other regions but pheromone-baited traps have not been deployed state-wide.

Previously, live BMSB had been reported in a few isolated locations. In September, 2014, one live BMSB was captured with net sweep in one farm in Jefferson City, and at about the same time numerous live BMSM adults were reported in urban areas (Chesterfield and St. Louis). In the spring of 2015, a couple of live BMSB individuals were also found in two separate occasions in Springfield, MO.

Our monitoring traps will be removed by early November given that at that moment BMSB will be getting ready to overwinter. BMSB overwinters as adult in natural and human-made structures. In the spring, BMSB adults emerge from overwintering sites (houses, barns, storage buildings, and dead trees) and become active on nearby crops during warm sunny days. Adult BMSB have the capacity to fly more than a mile and some have been shown to have the ability to fly over 31 miles. In the spring and throughout the summer, BMSB adults feed, mate, and lay eggs.