Skip to comments.Stink bug spread worries growers across nation
Posted on 05/22/2011 3:10:09 PM PDT by Clintonfatigued
An insect with a voracious appetite, no domestic natural predators and a taste for everything from apples to lima beans has caused millions of dollars in crop damage and may just be getting started.
The brown marmorated stink bug, a three-quarter-inch invader native to Asia, is believed to have been brought first to the Allentown, Pa., area in 1998. The bug began appearing in mid-Atlantic orchards in 2003-04 and exploded in number last year.
This spring, stink bugs have been seen in 33 states, including every one east of the Mississippi River and as far west as California, Oregon and Washington.
"All that we do know for certain is that a tremendously large population went into overwintering in fall 2010. So, if they survived, there could be a very large population emerging in the spring," said Tracy Leskey, a research entomologist at the U.S. Agriculture Department's Appalachian Fruit Research Station in Kearneysville W.Va.
Growers in the mid-Atlantic region have reported the worst problems, and the apple industry appears hit hardest, with $37 million in damage to growers in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia, according to the U.S. Apple Association. That's about 18 percent of the Mid-Atlantic crop.
Mark Seetin, the association's director of regulatory and industry affairs, called it the worst threat to farmers he's see in his 40 years in agriculture.
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Our Diversity is so beautiful; parasites, pests, TB, Leprosy, Dengue Fever, Malaria, Infections such as MRSA. Oh Lord! My leg tingles everytime I hear evidences of our growing stronger with each crossing of the border.
Japanese beetles are one of the few* natural attackers of a Japanese botanical pest, “mile a minute” vine (some call it “triangle razor vine” or “tearthumb” which has been spreading across southern Pennsylvania and northern Maryland.
Like the beetle and the stink bug it was a stowaway.
*Whitetailed deer are discovering the vine and will devour it. The deer have become overpopulated but the good unitended consequence is that they are controllng this pest as well as multiflora rose.
True, but apparently not this particular type of stink bug.
Potato bugs are so much worse! They are so ugly you will have nightmares!
It kills all bugs and worms without mercy. I love the stuff.
I don’t think it affects earth worms. They are my gardens friends.
He got it at Lowe's, comes in a good-size box. He used a mask and latex gloves because he didn't want to breathe it, wet down the plant (hisbiscus) with probably a fine spray on a hose (would do it on an overcast day) and just tossed the stuff on the plant, said it lasted for about a week then have to reapply but worth it if it works, better and safer than powerful chemicals.
They had come back from vacation, and there were 15 on his hisbiscus which is right across the fence from my pussy willow; those are preferred plants of the beetle among many others. A week later the count was only 3 which is pretty good considering I don't know if I'd treated my pussy willow with Sevin or not.
I'd need to use a lot more than he did so I'd try to find an applicator that will dispense dust but maybe try it first. You might want to do a little more research on it.
If those stink bugs like soybeans, that is a concern to me. I know the beetles like corn and get in the silk but that's usually self-pollinated before they ermerge; planting has been late this year though. Jap beetles emerge from the ground as adults and the larvae like to feed on grass roots, then burrow way down for the winter. You might have some luck with predator birds eating the larvae, think that's why I've seen so many brown woodpeckers around that had never been here before so don't chase them off. Starlings also like them as do turkeys and ducks.
I'm going to get some netting, too, the kind you use for party and bridal clothes and cover some plants won't look so nice but I don't care, got some baby raspberry plants I started from seed.
The biggest worry is have we reached critical mass? I'm told so far they haven't been that much of a problem with crops, but then nothing aggressive is being done to eradicate them around here.
You can bet if they get in the grape, almond and fruit crops in CA which they like, they will have to pull out all the stops. With the stink bugs, I did like the idea of finding the young and killing them. When I pick, I drown them in soapy water but came to be an exercise in futility and exhausting.
One more thing I did which may have helped some is treat my lawn with oh can't think of the name of it, got it at Home Depot in a big bag and used a spreader, best time to do that is between July 15 and Aug 15 and needs to be watered in. I got lucky and got a good rain, actually applied some when it was raining a bit. Wish I could remember the name, I just did, Grub X.
Whatever you try, good luck. I'm so fed up with these things,ruins my summer. I don't mind bugs generally but these things have come to creep me out. Just a few people try to get rid of them any way they can, but it takes a community effort. They got so bad downtown, they sprayed, and my daughter said there were hundreds of dead ones lying around, probably attracted by trees. They do treat the golf course and rose garden; nurseries don't have too much of a problem because they generally have to fly in because they can't gestate under asphalt.
I'm trying to share everything I've found out about them. Killing them is better than repellants (with the earth is) but anything that works is worth it. The damn beetles get up in my birch trees, start at the top, no way I can spray those; so far they just do damage but some places will get so bad they will defoliate a whole tree. They're a real problem with lindens.
Please ping me if there are any new developments. Massive outbreaks will get people's attention; the fact that the stink bugs feed on the actual fruit is not good.
Whatever you do, don't use Bayer products where the active ingredient is imidacloprid, the same stuff in Advantage for pets for fleas. That is residual on flower blooms and kills bees and wasps, and I partly but not totally blame that for the destruction of honeybees. There was a good article in the LAT about that class of chemicals called Bzzzzzzz Kill, then went into suspect products. They got in the grape crops in France, and settled a lawsuit with France over it, conducting more studies in Germany (where those products are mfr'ed).
When they first appeared, they did everything they knew at the time to try to control them, no dice.
These stink bugs sound even worse. I'm not against a natural predator but could have unintended consequences like anything else.
We had those Asian orange ladybugs, would swarm on the south side of my house but not so bad in recent years. Generally ladybugs are good to keep the aphids down. You don't want to kill earthworms. They are a sign of healthy soil and good for the garden.
Where’s the best places to look for the eggs and immature insects?
I don’t know that we’ve had any problem with stink bugs around here yet (Central NY) but do want to keep my eyes open for them and see what I can do for treating them.
I will be stocking up on DE in any event.
I saw an especially pretty variety of multiflora some years back and tried to propagate it; luckily that failed. My source plant they evidently got rid of with Roundup, but I've seen more of it, not a worry if you don't grow roses.
I learned all this on a garden group and was warned by my friend about the jap beetles, sure enough, they showed up that year right on schedule, first experience with them.
The YouTube link on #13 shows one eating a stink bug.
Looks like they may be.
Mine were meant as a /jk.
It must be me.
I thought anyone could tell them apart easily.
BTW, my father is a Grand Master Gardener of The Most High. If you are interested, I could ask him for advice on how to deal with the nasties. He also has his Master's in Agronomy, and spent his whole life in agriculture. So he knows his stuff.
Have you tried Malathion?
I think Parathion was banned. And Monitor 4 Spray may have been banned. Monitor is some nasty stuff. We asked the spray pilot one day how you could tell if you got a dose. He said oh, you just stop breathing.
It has a hopper for the DE and a hand crank that turns a cage type blower fan. The DE comes out in a wispy cloud. Wear a dust mask.
I have seen the DE sold at Lowe's it also has baits and other stuff added into it.
If you want to be pinged on this kind of stuff just let me know. I host the Weekly Gardening Thread here at FR and maintain the ping list.
The gardening thread is posted every Friday morning and is active until the next Friday's post.
Weekly Gardening Thread
Ahhh, might be the bugs and not the birds.
I’m in North Central Texas. Could be those bugs doing damage on my tomatoes.
I’m using vegetable spray religiously this year top and bottom of the leaves, I check daily, spray every 3 days and rinse off the tops the next day or two.
I need to check the label for stinkie kill.
Diatomaceous Earth seems to be about the only thing that will kill boxelder bugs, too. I was up to my arse in those earlier this year. They kept getting “lost” and invading the house by the dozens! I did some sealing up of my exterior and put DE around outside in my stony borders. It took a week to have the desired effect, but I really think it has helped. I almost never see them inside now, and the masses outside have been decimated. Good stuff.
Just be sure you use the “food grade” stuff or some that is labeled for garden use, and not the DE that is used in pool filter media. The pool filter variety of DE is heat-treated, causing it to lose its efficacy (its microscopic sharp edges which cut the bugs and cause them to dehydrate and die).
Is your father a FReeper?
That dustin-mizer thing looks frickin’ awesome! Where did you get it?
I’ve been using a “puffer style” pump duster, which works OK but isn’t exactly ideal. Sometimes it belches out too much dust at once.
Mine are gray and I can usually smell them within a few feet.
I answered my own question with a quick Googling...
For the interested, Google ‘dustin mizer’.
See post 66
LOL Just about covers it.
I wonder of the little boy in the middle got his head chopped off for not bowing down?
Where can I go to get Weekly Gardening Thread besides entering Weekly Gardening Thread in the search?
Thanks. Menards has started carrying 4 pound bags of DE as well.
Search on the net for it. They are a little expensive. I bought mine at a local seed and feed store. I went in looking for the old style pump sprayer - the kind I remember gardeners used to use to dust sulpher on roses and such. The guy said he stopped selling them because he got to many complaints and showed me the Dustin-Mizer.
Yes he is. Sort of. Kind of. In spirit. He doesn’t own a computer. Hates the damn things. Same way I feel about cell phones. I know he uses Sevin and Malathion both. Had something else he would use on occasion. But that was mostly to keep someone’s dog from digging in his garden. Umm...I better stop there...;-)
By all means, please add me to your ping list, please.
I watched the video; that was a good idea, too, would try to tape in a low watt electric bulb soas not to have to buy more batteries.
I don't know if DE would be cost effective for farmers but forewarned is fore-armed.
We were talking about getting rid of soybean mold which requires a fungicide. Probably not cost effective, but thought why not hydrogen peroxide in the right strength? It's good for the plants, too. So then I find the Amish spray it on string bean plants after they've picked the first crop; the bean plants will flower again and produce more beans, probably not as many. I know that regular drugstore peroxide diluted one part hyd per to 9 parts of water worked wonders on some of my seedlings.
Any beans I've ever grown, no prob, just find something for them to climb on if I want a lot.
Back to farmers and stink bugs, I'll have to do more research on that. Been watching a lot of vids about farmers that get high yields. One contest winner got huge yields of soybeans (and corn, different strategy). For the beans, he treats the seeds with some root stimulant, then burns them down to the ground. Then they branch more, analogous to a gardener pinching back plants to get more branching and flowers but I don't pinch them back to the ground, would try it on a test patch first.
I put everything I've found out on this board so we can be brainstormng, working with a tight budget this year but can make room for one of those dusters. Thanks so much!
bump the stink bug killers
Nope. It dissolves in any moisture so the earthworms do just fine, but makes it useless unless you got a good couple of days without rain. It’s the only thing that has ever dealt with the cabbage worms effectively that I’ve tried.
Just enter the key word - weekly - in the search box. The gardening thread for the past week and beyond will pop up.
Peroxide is a harmless and very effective fungicide. I’ve had good luck on the tomato spot. You can see it bubbling and killing it after you spray it on.
did the LED attract these things?
Maybe the stink bugs just made their way north to PA and these people think they are something new to the country.
We’ve seen them before ‘98 also. Not the quantities we’re seeing now.
Sounds like you didn’t dilute it? I could put it in my pump sprayer (diluted) as I’ve had multiple problems with milew, glad to hear it works on tomato spot, too.
The picture is a stock photo off the net - not me. If you use DE like this do the spraying very early morning or late evening because it will harm your visiting bees. I think I read that lady bugs are not affected by it - I don’t know why.
The poor little guy had to get a breath of fresh air!
I said all I know about dealing with jap beetles, but will be on the lookout for stink bugs, don't know if DE will work on them or not, worth a try. Ususally a multi-pronged attack (minus the traps which are not good for me) is the most effective. Last year the beetles were evident well into September. That's what will make the stink bugs harder to fight.
With the beetles, if I dig and find the light-colored, fat grubs, I throw them in the street or squash them, but that won't make much of a dent overall for sure.
bump where to get the DE duster to kill bugs—thanks for info
Thank you for the warning, early evening works best for me, and bees are active until sunset. Ladybugs aren’t a problem for me, just a nuisance in the fall. Have been glad to see some red ones since I took up gardening again; they usually show up too late for aphids on rose buds, haven’t seen any yet, and you can hose them off daily with a strong spray of the hose. That’s is a nuisance for me dragging the hose around.
What do you use against them?
One search I did recommended nicotine tea....as we know, tomatoes and peppers need to be kept away from tobacco products. Tomatoes and peppers are a large part of my garden.
OTOH, I have seen these before and haven’t seen any damage that I know are from them in the garden. I will use a pyrethrin occasionally if I see insect damage. I have also used Severin. I have never been that sure the powders are helping, though. I have also not had extensive insect damage in the past.
By the way this is wher I am getting my DE
Oh, I thought this was about the Democratic National Committee.