Brown stink bugs can be found nearly everywhere in North America.
Brown stink bug injury to corn occurs primarily during the early vegetative stages.
Plants with injured stalks or growing points may be stunted, tiller, or may die and significant stand loss can occur under heavy infestation.
No-till corn planted into heavy cover, such as winter wheat straw, heavy winter annual weeds, or a cover crop has a higher risk of brown stink bug damage.
Native North American species are brown stink bugs (BSB) of Euschistus sp., including E. Servus and E. Variolarius.
Introduced from Asia is the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) Halyomorpha Halys.
Hosts: row crops or herbaceous plants like corn, soybeans, vegetables and alfalfa; or woody plants like fruit and forest trees.
Stinkbugs feed with piercing and sucking mouthparts, similarly to mosquitoes. Mouthparts pierce the surface, inject an enzyme, then re-ingest the dissolved plant material.
Stink bugs feed on growing plants and may cause misshapen or stunted plants that grow improperly.
They also feed on fruit and seeds, causing blemishes and seriously impacting quality.
Some species are a winter nuisance to homeowners as they congregate in homes for shelter.
Adult brown stink bug. Characteristics include brown color, shield-shape, 1/2-inch length, with piercing and sucking mouthparts. It has a distinctive triangular shaped area on back and produces a strong odor when disturbed.
Impact on Corn
Most injury to corn occurs from seedling through V5 vegetative stage.
Feeding through rolled leaves creates a repeating pattern of holes.
Holes may be small to very elongated with yellow “halos.”
Plants with injured stalks or growing points may be stunted, tiller, or may die.
Significant stand loss can occur in heavily infested fields.
Ears of slowed plants may mature late and will have poor kernel fill.
At least one species of brown stink bug can be found nearly everywhere in North America.
Native species are more prevalent in the Southeast, Northeast into Canada, and West to British Columbia.
Introduced species, such as brown marmorated stink bug, can be found from California to the East coast and are rapidly spreading to the North and South.
Develop with incomplete metamorphosis
Eggs are “beer-barrel” shaped, laid in clusters
Nymphs congregate after hatching
Nymphs lack fully developed wings
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If given time after spring weed control, adults will leave most fields in search of food elsewhere.
Fields needing early scouting:
no-till into heavy cover, such as winter wheat straw, heavy winter annual weeds, or a cover crop
history of stink bug injury
edges with cover, such as shelterbelts
broadleaf weeds, especially shepherd’s purse, killed after corn emergence
Stink bugs can feed in the open seed slots. In no-till fields with the potential for poor seed-furrow closure, manage down pressure, residue, and closure appropriately.
Insecticide seed treatments may give some relief but the large size of the pest and feeding method make it difficult to control.
Where severe damage is expected it may be possible to apply a labeled pesticide for adult control with pre-emergence weed control or no-till burn down.
Currently there are no transgenic products available for sucking insects.
There are a few natural enemies, such as a Tachinid fly that parasitize stink bugs, but they cannot be depended on to control damaging populations.
Stink Bugs / Brown Stink Bug
Shield-shaped insect of the true bug group
About 3/8 inch to 1/2 inch in length
Front 1/2 of wings are leathery, last 1/2 usually membranous
Triangular scutelum separates thorax and abdomen
Brown mottled above, green or yellow below
Do not confuse with Spined Soldier Bug – predatory and considered beneficial
Slightly smaller than the BSB or BMSB
Usually has a yellow cast with yellow underside
More prominent spines on shoulder
The foregoing is provided for informational use only. Please contact your Pioneer sales professional for information and suggestions specific to your operation. Product performance is variable and depends on many factors such as moisture and heat stress, soil type, management practices and environmental stress as well as disease and pest pressures. Individual results may vary. Pioneer® brand products are provided subject to the terms and conditions of purchase which are part of the labeling and purchase documents.