Issue 2, May 12, 2014

They're Baaacckk – Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs are Beginning to Make Their Presence Known

The sun has been shining, the temperatures have begun to warm, the landscape is turning into a rainbow of color - life is good! That is, until you notice the stink bugs crawling in or near your house.

Brown marmorated stink bug calls and emails are starting to come in once again. Over the past couple of weeks, I've received several reports of Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs (BMSB) being found in or near homes. It's a sure sign that the seasons are changing and these home invaders are searching for their winter vacation spots.

During the spring, adults break their dormancy and move from their overwintering locations such as houses, garages, barns, and other dry places.  Like many invasive insects, the brown marmorated stink bug has a very long list of host plants it will feed on. During this time of year, we would expect to find them on ornamental landscape plants, such as holly, crabapples, and other fruiting and seed-producing shrubs. As summer approaches, they move to other hosts--peaches, apples, grapes, soybeans, corn, tomatoes, peppers, and more. During the spring, adults mate and the females begin laying eggs. Egg laying will occur throughout the summer months. 

A single generation per year is expected for most of Illinois. Some areas of southern Illinois could experience another generation. Typically, the adults will begin to move to overwintering locations in September, with peak movement in late September and early October. Homeowners may start to see BMSBs begin gathering on homes, barns, and garages during this time.

BMSB has been making headlines in Illinois for a couple of years. Already this spring, we have new confirmations out of Knox and Lake counties.

Currently, the known distribution of this insect in Illinois is limited. Homeowners are our primary source of information during the fall and spring. As always, we are very interested in where these insects may be and continue to try to determine where they are in Illinois. If you believe you have BMSB, we would be very interested in looking at it. Suspect stink bugs may be sent to Kelly Estes, 1816 S. Oak St., Champaign, IL 61820. Please put stink bugs in a crush-proof container (pill bottle, check box, etc). You can also send a photo to for preliminary screening if you wish. (Kelly Estes)

Kelly Estes

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