Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs - Help protect B.C. fruit farms (2016)

B.C. residents, particularly those in the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley and Penticton area are being asked to support the Ministry of Agriculture’s surveillance efforts by being on the lookout for any brown marmorated stink bugs, (Halyomorpah halys) that may be seeking winter refuge inside homes and buildings.

The bug does not pose a risk to people, but can be devastating to tree fruits, berries, grapes, vegetables and ornamental plants, and a nuisance to homeowners as the adults aggregate on and in buildings while seeking warm overwintering sites.

Both adults and nymphs feed by inserting their mouthparts into the flesh of fruit or vegetables. Feeding punctures result in small dead areas on fruit, vegetables and leaves.

Brown marmorated stink bugs can be a contamination issue for grapes because the presence of a few adults at crush can taint wine.

The ministry has conducted outreach to growers and the general public for brown marmorated stink bugs since 2010, and is increasing 2017 efforts through a multi-agency surveillance and monitoring plan, after the bugs were found in B.C. for the first time in 2016. A few were identified in Penticton in the spring and summer, and several more in the Kitsilano area of Vancouver and Chilliwack. The bugs are excellent hitchhikers and can be moved in shipping containers, wood, wood-packing material, cargo and vehicles

The brown marmorated stink bug, a native pest of Asia, was first identified in North America in Pennsylvania in 2001. It has since spread throughout the mid-Atlantic states and is present in California, Oregon and Washington. The adults are brown, about 13 to 17 mm long, and can be distinguished from other brown stink bugs by the presence of distinctive white bands on the antennae and their tendency to cluster together in groups.

Pictures, I.D. tips, and additional information is at: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/farming-natural-resources-and-industry/...

And at: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/farming-natural-resources-and-industry/...

The bug is a very serious pest that feeds on more than 100 different plant species and causes tens-of-millions of dollars of fruit losses annually in the United States. B.C. growers and homeowners are asked to report any suspect brown marmorated stink bug to the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture contacts below:

In the Southern Interior: Susanna Acheampong Ministry of Agriculture Email: Susanna.Acheampong@gov.bc.ca

In the Lower Mainland: Tracy Hueppelsheuser Ministry of Agriculture Email: Tracy.Hueppelsheuser@gov.bc.ca