BMSB Update

Latest update

October 24

As we approach the end of October, most of our BMSB traps will be taken down and our survey for 2013-2014 will be coming to an end. While the majority of BMSB have likely moved into overwintering sites, adults are still being trapped at our hot spots in Hamilton and London. Traps at some key locations will be maintained through November. Since our last update, there have been a few late-season finds at new locations: Smithville (trap), Delhi (found by the University of Guelph Insect Taxonomy Lab) and Grimsby (homeowner find). The risk to crops is probably very low at this point in the season. Still, if you spot any suspect BMSB indoors, please make sure to let us know, as this is an indication they may be established in your area. For more information visit www.ontario.ca/stinkbug

September 25

Many of us have been enjoying fine weather conditions over the last week. Remaining brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) nymphs that got off to a late start this season are taking advantage of the warm weather and sunny days to complete their development, and the adults are beginning to move into their preferred overwintering sites - inside people's homes and other protected structures. This is an important time of year in terms of identifying new areas in Ontario where this pest may have become established. So far we know BMSB is established (meaning we have found breeding populations, adults and nymphs) in the Hamilton area, London, Newboro, St. Catharines and Windsor, but we've had homeowner finds and have caught BMSB in our survey work this year, in traps on farms at several other locations (see below). If you find these unwelcomed guests this fall, please let us know so we can follow-up with field surveys next year (Figure 1).

Figure 1. A key feature of BMSB is the presence of two white bands on each antenna.

Figure 1. A key feature of BMSB is the presence of two white bands on each antenna.

For apple growers, harvest time is when you may first notice BMSB injury to your crop, especially if the population is low (which it seems to be so far in Ontario). Damage to the fruit varies depending on the time of year feeding occurred. Early season injury may be really hard to see, perhaps as a small dot with a small discoloured line under the skin where the stink bug mouthparts penetrated. Mid or late-season damage appears as a depression (possibly also a dot), with corky tissues below the skin. In some cases, the corky tissue may extend quite far below the surface of the fruit. For some excellent pictures, see the Northeastern IPM Centre website.

August 4

An adult brown marmorated stink bugs (BMSB) was caught in a trap at another one of our survey sites in Niagara, near Niagara-on-the-Lake. The presence of adults in traps indicates growers / consultants need to be on the look-out for this pest in their crops. It is very easy to miss BMSB when it is at low levels. This pest is highly mobile, and the adults can move in from adjacent areas at any point in the growing season. See the OMAFRA website for management recommendations. It is likely this will be revised as we learn more about the biology of BMSB in Ontario.

Brown marmorated stink bugs have been confirmed as established (breeding populations) in Hamilton, London, Newboro, St. Catharines, and Windsor, ON. In addition, we have captured adult BMSB in pheromone traps set up on commercial farms near Beamsville, Cedar Springs (2013), Essex, Niagara-on-the-Lake, St. David's, and Waterdown. There have been homeowner finds (indoors) in the Golden Horseshoe and GTA (Hamilton, Burlington, Milton, Toronto, Vaughan, Niagara-on-the-Lake, St. Catharines, Niagara Falls, Fort Erie, Stoney Creek), Western Ontario (Cedar Springs, Essex, Windsor, Kincardine, London, Paris, Tecumseh, Maidstone), and Eastern Ontario (Newboro, Ottawa)

July 31

Adult brown marmorated stink bugs (BMSB) have been captured in pheromone traps set up on mixed tree fruit farms in the Waterdown area (new farm) and near St. David's, ON. BMSB has been found in these locations earlier this summer. It is likely BMSB is established in these areas, although we have not yet found the pest in crops and we have not identified nymphs (signs of a breeding population). The presence of adults in traps indicate growers / consultants need to be on the look-out for this pest in their crops. It is very easy to miss BMSB when it is at low levels. This pest is highly mobile, and the adults can move in from adjacent areas at any point in the growing season. See the OMAFRA website for management recommendations. It is likely this will be revised as we learn more about the biology of BMSB in Ontario.

Brown marmorated stink bugs have been confirmed as established (breeding populations) in Hamilton, London, Newboro, St. Catharines, and Windsor, ON. In addition, we have captured adult BMSB in pheromone traps set up on commercial farms near Beamsville, Cedar Springs (2013), Essex, St. David's, and Waterdown. Our 2013-2014 surveys are ongoing, and it is likely other spots will be added to this list. Most BMSB finds in Ontario have been by homeowners, as a result of overwintering adults moving indoors in the fall. In some locations, multiple reports indicate that local populations have been established. Many of the homeowner reports have led to finds of established populations.

July 18

An adult was collected this week in one of our pheromone traps at a mixed tree fruit farm near Beamsville, ON. In addition, a BMSB nymph was collected on a Catalpa tree at a residential home in St. Catharines, ON (other nymphs were spotted in the same location but were too high in the canopy to collect).  An established breeding population has been identified in the City of London, ON (See below for more information and locations.)

BMSB has not yet been detected in the crops themselves, but this pest can be tricky to spot at low densities. In addition, the adults are highly mobile. At this point in the season, all life stages of BMSB will be present (eggs, nymphs, adults). If the season is similar to that experienced in 2013, we should see the first new adults (those originating from early egg masses laid by overwintering adults) in the next week or two. If you haven’t started monitoring in your crops (peach is an early crop host) and in the landscape along crop borders, consider doing so now. Buckthorn, Catalpa, lilac, Manitoba maple, black walnut and Tree of Heaven are good early wild hosts, but there are many others.

Make sure to look for signs of stink bug injury, especially along crop borders near woodlots, hedgerows, the Escarpment, etc.  Early injury in tree fruit (‘catfacing’) looks like water spots or small areas of bleeding, becoming depressed or sunken as fruit develops.  In apples, injury may take 2-3 weeks before it is obvious.  Injury to tomatoes or peppers appears as discoloured spots, with light-coloured spongy tissues under the skin.  More descriptions and pictures are available on our webpages at www.ontario.ca/stinkbug.

Thresholds and management programs are still being developed in the mid-Atlantic US, where BMSB is abundant.  Scouting is always important, on the crop and landscape hosts.  Finds of adults in traps are indicative that BMSB are established in the area but they do not always mean insecticide sprays are necessary.  Pheromone traps are being recommended for use as early detection tools, to trigger intensive scouting in crops and insecticide applications.  Traps are typically placed between crop borders and woody landscape hosts OR within the crop border.  If adults or nymphs are found in traps outside of the crop, intensive monitoring is needed.  If nymphs are found in traps placed within a crop border, sprays are triggered.  In tree fruit, the presence of adults or nymphs in the crop itself is enough to trigger an insecticide spray.  

BMSB showing up at more locations (St. Catharines, Beamsville) - July 16

An adult was collected this week in one of our pheromone traps at a mixed tree fruit farm near Beamsville, ON. In addition, a BMSB nymph was collected on a Catalpa tree at a residential home in St. Catharines, ON, indicative of an established population in the area (other nymphs were spotted in the same location but were too high in the canopy to collect).

As part of our 2014 survey, we have now found BMSB at the following locations:

  • Pheromone traps (adults): tree fruit farm near Waterdown, mixed fruit farm St. David's, mixed fruit farm Beamsville, residential site Hamilton, residential site Newboro
  • Host plants (adults, egg masses and / or nymphs): Hamilton (various locations), St. Catharines

BMSB has not yet been detected in the crops themselves, but this pest can be tricky to spot at low densities. In addition, the adults are highly mobile. At this point in the season, all life stages of BMSB will be present (eggs, nymphs, adults). If the season is similar to that experienced in 2013, we should see the first new adults (those originating from early egg masses laid by overwintering adults) in the next week or two. If you haven't started monitoring in your crops (peach is an early crop host) and in the landscape along crop borders, consider doing so now. Buckthorn, Catalpa, lilac, Manitoba maple, black walnut and Tree of Heaven are good early wild hosts, but there are many others. Make sure to look for signs of stink bug injury, especially along crop borders near woodlots, hedgerows, the Escarpment, etc.

BMSB adults caught in pheromone traps (Niagara area) - July 8

Adults were collected this week in pheromone traps at a mixed tree fruit farm near St. David's ON. This follows several homeowner finds in the Niagara region over the last year, and indicates the pest is likely established and active in the area. Two weeks ago, we reported on a find in our trap located near Waterdown, ON. Adults have been trapped at our urban hot spot in Hamilton for several weeks, where we are finding adults, egg masses and early instar nymphs of BMSB on landscape hosts. BMSB has not yet been detected in the crops themselves.

BMSB adults caught in pheromone traps (Hamilton area) - July 1

The first adults have been trapped in pheromone traps being used as part of our provincial survey. Adults have been trapped at our urban hot spot in Hamilton for the last two weeks, and we've just caught our first adult in Newboro. This week (July 1st), the first adult was trapped on a commercial apple farm in the Waterdown area. The University of Guelph crew that is monitoring the site has not detected any BMSB in the crop or in nearby wild hosts, but the presence of an adult in the trap indicates they are active in the area.

We are finding adults at known infested areas, and egg laying has likely been underway for several weeks. Numbers will remain low and populations difficult to detect until nymphs emerge. If you haven't started monitoring in your crops (peach is an early crop host) and in landscape along crop borders (buckthorn, lilac and Tree of Heaven are good early wild hosts) , consider doing so now.

Research Team

The research team conducting surveys in crops and landscape hosts across southern Ontario (Cynthia Scott-Dupree - University of Guelph, Tara Gariepy - Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Hannah Fraser and Tracey Baute - OMAFRA) have set up pheromone traps for BMSB at over 50 sites in 2014. Many other staff and students are helping with the effort. Thresholds and management programs are still being developed in the mid-Atlantic US, where BMSB is abundant. In tree fruit, the presence of adults or nymphs in the crop is enough to trigger an insecticide spray. For those who are interested, detailed presentations about ongoing research on BMSB can be found on the Northeastern IPM Centre website. Keep in mind that some of this information is still preliminary. Another website to check out is www.stopbmsb.org, and of course, we have general information on our OMAFRA website www.ontario.ca/stinkbug.

BMSB finds

Most BMSB in Ontario have been found by homeowners, and in some locations, multiple reports indicate that local populations have been established. To date, BMSB has been confirmed in:

Region Establish/breeding population Adults trapped in orchard site Homeowner finds
Golden Horseshoe/GTA
Hamilton
St. Catharines
Beamsville
Niagara-on-the-Lake,
Niagara Falls*,
St. David's
Waterdown, Smithville

Burlington
Fort Erie
Grimsby
Milton
Niagara Falls
Stoney Creek
Toronto
Vaughan, Cedar Springs, Delhi**

Western Ontario

London
Windsor

Cedar Springs
Essex
Kincardine
Maidstone
Paris
Tecumseh
Eastern Ontario
Newboro
N/A
Ottawa

*Niagara FAlls = Niagara Parks Commission site
** Delhi = find by University of Guelph Taxonomic Lab

Management options

Border sprays are sometimes sufficient for limiting damage, unless the pest has become established in the crop. Begin management with border sprays at first adult (in crop) find, or whole orchard sprays with first nymph find prior to 1 August. The majority of late season injury appears to occur within the first 30 m of wooded edge. Keep in mind that sprays will only control those BMSB that are present at the time of application, or shortly thereafter, and nymphs are easier to kill than adults.  Residual activity is typically limited.  New waves of adults can migrate into crops from adjacent areas through the season.  Managing BMSB requires season-long attention.     

Other regions recommend applying a registered product if BMSB is found during scouting. Unfortunately, few thresholds have been developed for BMSB in horticulture crops. Management tools for Ontario can be found on the OMAFRA website.

Want more information on BMSB

Interested in identifying stink bug species - friends and foes - by their egg masses? Resources have been developed by members of the BMSB IPM Working Group in the US. Egg Mass ID K ey Dichotomous June 2014 provides a visual guide to several common species in the eastern US (many of which we have in Ontario), while Eggs of Pentatomidae Ptoid Workshop 18June2014 provides a key to the most common groups. Check out the following website for the latest research on BMSB http://www.stopbmsb.org/about-us/reports-and-presentations/presentations-and-posters/ipm-working-group-meeting-june-2014/ (other years available). There's lots of great information on BMSB in crops, including a guide to symptoms and phenology / timing of injury to tree fruit and other crops. In Ontario, there is likely a single generation of BMSB per year, so expect some of the information to vary.

Visit our BMSB website www.ontario.ca/stinkbug.


For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
E-mail: ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca