Marmorated stink bugs on the move as spring thaw begins

03/28/2014 12:13:00 PM
Vicky Boyd

brown marmorated stink bugCourtesy Wikimedia CommonsAn adult brown marmorated stink bug feeds on an apple, one of its numerous hosts.As spring finally arrives and the snow recedes in Michigan, the number of sightings of brown marmorated stink bugs inside Michigan homes has increased.

The longer days and periodic warm temperatures are causing stink bug adults to become active in their overwintering locations, according to a Michigan State University Extension newsletter.

U.S. Department of Agriculture researchers have discovered that dead, standing trees in woodlots are another favorite overwintering site for these insects.

A recent study by Virginia Tech researchers, led by entomologist Tom Kuhar, suggests that the long, extreme cold periods this winter may have severely affected BMSB that overwintered outdoors.

This is based on adult bugs that were put in insulated buckets placed outdoors during January. Kuhar and his colleagues saw a 95 percent mortality rate.

But he was quick to point out that the death rate in his buckets does not infer that stink bugs in their natural overwintering sites suffered the same fate.

Other experts expect to find no moee than 50 percent mortality in stinkbugs overwintering under bark and in homes.

Nevertheless, winter mortality is expected to be higher than during a typical winter.

BMSB have been trapped in 18 Michigan counties and has become a serious economic pest of numerous crops along the Atlantic Coast.

For more information about brown marmorated stink bugs, visit

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