Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

The brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB), Halyomorpha halys, was confirmed for the first time in Montana on January 26, 2021 from a household near downtown Billings (found alive inside the home). 

The brown marmorated stink bug was introduced from Asia and is now established in 46 states (Montana is the 47th state but not sure if it is yet established); and four Canadian provinces. It attacks over 170 different plant species. This is a pest that was expected to arrive in Montana. Its potential impact on crops, specialty crops, backyard gardens, and as a fall home invader in Montana are unknown.

Damage: Brown marmorated stink bugs have stylets, which pierce into the fruit, pods, buds, leaves, and stems of several plants.

Preferred Hosts:

Yard and garden: Some preferred hosts in the yard and garden include catalpa, sunflower, crab apple, apple, cherry and other Prunus species. 

Crops: Corn is a favored host of BMSB.

Specialty Crops: Specialty crops at high risk to BMSB damage include apples, pears (Asian and European), grapes, peaches, sweet corn, peppers, Swiss chard, and tomatoes.

What We Know About BMSB:

  • Wide host range
  • Damaging pest of apples, grapes, cherries, and several other Prunus spp.
  • It is a serious pest of economic importance for tree fruits in the mid-Atlantic states and has caused more than $37 million worth of damage (report as of 2010).
  • Its detection in other states poses problems ranging from a nuisance toa severe agricultural pest.
  • Invades homes in the fall (nuisance pest)
  • Harmless to humans

What We Don’t Yet Know About BMSB in MT:

  • If it is established in Montana (if reproductive populations exist in Billings and other areas of the state)
  • What hosts it might impact and whether it will be a pest of economic importance for crops and specialty crops

Monitoring and Management:

  • Several cooperating state and federal agencies have been monitoring for BMSB for several years in Montana.
  • Monitoring efforts will continue with a focus in the Billings area.
  • Please send suspected specimens and/or detailed photos to your local extension agent or samples can be submitted to the Schutter Diagnostic Lab by following directions at diagnostics.montana.edu. There are several look-alike bugs.
  • Detailed management information and other information about the pest can be found at the website https://www.stopbmsb.org/managing-bmsb/ and at the Intermountain Tree Fruit Guide website https://intermountainfruit.org/

Many thanks to Bruce Morey and Amy Morey for collecting the specimen (and initial diagnosis) and Amy Grandpre (Yellowstone Co. Extension, MSU) for sending the specimen to the Schutter Diagnostic Lab. 

Brenda J. Richey 

MSU Extension – Flathead Reservation Ag/4-H Agent

701- B 1st Street East, Polson, MT 59860 

406-471-3810 – Cell / 406-883-1350 – Fax

flatheadreservation@montana.edu

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