Alert: Brown Marmorated Stink Bug found in Massachusetts (March 2007)
The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (Halyomorpha halys) was found for the first time in Massachusetts in March 2007. A specimen was collected by a homeowner in Bridgewater (Plymouth County) and submitted to Rutgers University for identification. Both Dr. Hoebeke at Cornell University and the USDA Systemic Entomology Lab confirmed the identity of the insect for a new state record.
This insect, a native to China, South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan, was first identified in 1998 in Allentown, PA. Since that time the stink bug has been discovered in New Jersey, Oregon, Maryland, South Carolina, Virginia, and Delaware. This insect is an excellent hitchhiker and may have moved to the US in packing crates from Asia. While adult insects can fly, their spread can be aided by hitchhiking in vehicles or containers.
The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug attacks a long list of hosts including fruits (apple, peach, pear), ornamentals (Paulownia, butterfly bush, Norway maple), and vegetables (beans). Their feeding can cause “cat-facing” on fruits rendering them unmarketable. This bug is also a nuisance species that invades homes in the fall much like its relative the western conifer seed bug.
The adult Brown Marmorated Stink Bug has a few characteristics that set it apart from other stink bugs: (1) white bands on the antennae and (2) alternating white and dark bands on the rear edge of the abdomen. For photographs and more information see the fact sheet: http://massnrc.org/pests/pestFAQsheets/brownmarmoratedstinkbug.html
The western conifer seed bug has flattened hind legs and no banding on its antennae. These characters will also help you to distinguish this bug from the new invader on the scene, Brown Marmorated Stink Bug. For photographs of bugs that look similar to the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug see the Rutgers website: http://njaes.rutgers.edu/stinkbug/similar.asp
If you suspect you have found a Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, please collect the insect in a container and report it here.
The pest alert is from the Massachusetts Introduced Pests Outreach Project, a collaborative project between the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources and the UMass Extension Agriculture and Landscape Program aimed at preventing the establishment of new pathogens and pests in Massachusetts. Visit the project website (http://www.massnrc.org/pests) for more information on other emerging pests or to subscribe and unsubscribe to pest alerts.