On May 9, Robert Bellm, University of Illinois Extension Commercial Agriculture Educator, Brownstown Research and Education Center, found a brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) in Madison County, Illinois (Figures 1 and 2). As we move further into spring, more reports of these sightings will begin to surface across the state. BMSB adults are now beginning to break their winter dormancy and move outside of their shelters (sheds, barns, homes, or other protected sites).
This stink bug species was first confirmed in Illinois during 2010 in Cook County. Kelly Estes, Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey Coordinator for Illinois, indicates that the BMSB has been confirmed in nine counties across the state (Figure 3). As the year unfolds, please send any specimens that you collect to Kelly at the following address: Illinois Natural History Survey, 1816 S. Oak Street, Champaign, IL 61820. Kelly will also look at photographs if they are sent to her email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. The BMSB feeds on many types of fruits and vegetables. In addition, corn and soybeans are susceptible to injury. Later this summer, we intend to conduct a statewide survey for this insect in corn and soybean fields. At this point, it’s too early to tell if this stink bug species will cause significant problems in 2013.
For additional information about how to identify the BMSB and manage this insect, I encourage you to look at the following web resources provide by Penn State University and Rutgers University. Because infestations have been severe in the Mid-Atlantic states, considerable information about this insect pest has been generated.