The invasion of brown marmorated stink bugs into the Northeast has not halted. Neither has the massive research initiative to stem farm crop damaged by the voracious pest.
Researchers from nine land grant universities, USDA's Agricultural Research Service and the Northeast IPM Center teamed up to launch a website providing information and tools to halt the spread of BMSB. Thanks to funding from the USDA Specialty Crop Research Initiative and the leadership of Tracy Leskey from the ARS Appalachian Fruit Research Station, you can find the latest on this invasive pest at http://www.StopBMSB.org
BMSB has been found in 38 states, but has caused greatest crop damage on the East Coast, particularly in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. The website shows where it's been detected in each state. It also shows you who to contact if you believe you've found BMSB in your area.
At this website, you also can see a guide and photographs to identify BMSB, find BMSB control recommendations and connect to researchers' sites to send a specimen for identification.
Potential control options
Trapping hasn't yet proven to be an effective control, according to Leskey. It can, however, indicate the need for intervention. The site will keep you updated on research efforts in four control areas:
Attract-and-kill: An attract-and-kill strategy involves luring large numbers of BMSB to a specific area, and then treating that area.
Natural enemies: Potential natural enemies include a group of tiny parasitic wasps that attack BMSB eggs and a naturally occurring fungus that targets stink bugs. A specialized research team is exploring biological control measures.
Organic BMSB links: This project has created resources targeted to organic farmers.
Chemical controls: Researchers are working to identify more insecticides that effectively control BMSB, based on their economic and environmental impacts.
Check out their latest findings at the website.