Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

Halyomorpha halys

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

Pentatomidae - Halyomorpha halys-001 by Hectonichus (CC BY-SA 4.0)
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A close up shot of a brown marmorated stink bug Halyomorpha halys sat on a green leaf
Pentatomidae - Halyomorpha halys-001 by Hectonichus (CC BY-SA 4.0)
1 of 7
Halyomorpha halys, or the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, is a medium-sized insect known for its broad appetite and brown marbling. They're a sap-sucking true bug; using a super-thin stylet-like feeding tube to suck the fluid contents of fruits, flowers and leaves. As they do this, they destroy the surrounding tissues, resulting in unattractive brown smudges to appear where they've been feeding. They target the younger fruits and flowers, so they impact the overall yield of fruit-bearing plants.
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Traits

A common garden pest that can impact yields.
The eggs and nymphs are predated by other garden wildlife.

Appearance

Adult: They're large, heavily armoured, marmorated and brown. They measure just under 2cm (3 quarters of an inch). Nymphs: Small with less armour plating. The thorax is black and spiky. The abdomen is segmented and black, comprising cream, square outlines and red pairs of dots. These vary in size depending on the development stage. Eggs: The eggs are laid in clusters, they're pearly white and laid beneath the food plant.

Symptoms

Tissue surrounding the feeding site dies and browns. Dimpling where the feeding tube is inserted. Young buds, flowers or fruits can fall prematurely. Young woody branches and stems may scar and weep. May invade homes when temperatures drop outside.

Activity

Diurnal

Personality

Order

Hemiptera

Family

Pentatomidae

Metamorphosis

Incomplete

Distribution

East USA and some parts of the West.

Biological treatment

Seal up cracks and crevices around the house to prevent them from overwintering in the home. The best thing you can do is monitor your veg patches. Check beneath stones, leaves and deadwood to see if they are taking cover during the day. Squash them as and when you see them. Likewise, clusters of tiny white eggs are laid beneath the leaves of plants, so should be wiped off whenever seen. Keep veg patches of areas containing desirable plants clear of debris and weeds. Attempt planting strips of 'trap plants'. The idea is, these will lure in pests and keep them away from desirable plants. Suggested ones are Sweet corn, Okra, Mustard, Sunflower or Amaranth. Neem oil, Insecticidal soap or Pyrethrins may be the next plan of action. Always assess the severity of an infestation beforehand. Take care not to spray any plants which are in flower.

Attracts

They'll eat a wide variety of tree fruits, legumes, corn and peppers.
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