Issue 2, May 8, 2017

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Information for Homeowners

The brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) should be old news for Illinois residents by now. What may be new to some though, is its increased numbers in their homes. While it is quickly becoming the time of year where these insects are found outdoors, many people reported seeing this pest for the first time in their homes last winter.

Discovered in Illinois in 2010, BMSB has now been confirmed in 40 counties. We suspect it is much wider spread than this, but have not had samples or photos submitted from unconfirmed counties.

As temperatures continue to warm, sightings within homes should decrease as they move out into the environment. These insects feed on over 300 different plants, including many that are included in home gardens. Examples of host plants:

  • Small fruit – grapes, blueberry, raspberry
  • Vegetables – tomatoes, sweet corn, peppers, green beans
  • Field Crops – soybeans, field corn, sunflowers
  • Ornamental plants – princess tree, viburnum, rose, honeysuckle, maple, walnut, butterfly bush

A full list of host plants can be found at:

Figure 1. Distinguishing characteristics of brown marmorated stink bug.

Figure 2. BMSB feeding on apple.

Figure 3. Stink bug damage on ripe tomato.

We encourage homeowners and gardeners to be vigilant and report possible stink bug injury. BMSB feed on plants by inserting their long beaks into the fruit, vegetable or leaf tissue resulting in pitting, discoloration and rotting of fruit. (Kelly Estes)

Kelly Estes

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