By Karla Arboleda
As the weather cools down, brown marmorated stink bugs (BMSBs) in the deep Southeast are seeking to stay in dry areas away from crops.
BMSBs will typically affect peaches, apples, tomatoes, peppers, corn and soybeans throughout North Carolina and South Carolina, but not for much longer. According to Jim Walgenbach, an Extension entomologist at North Carolina State University, BMSBs are present until these last few weeks of October.
“They should no longer be an issue from this week onwards. By the third week of October, 95 percent of them are going to their overwintering sites,” Walgenbach said. He added that when BMSBs overwinter, or hibernate, they look for large places to nest until March in North Carolina.
“That’s oftentimes man-made buildings, homes, garages or sheds,” Walgenbach said. “We’ve found that the populations are most intense in the foothills and mountainous areas of (the Carolinas).”
While BMSBs are now leaving fields for winter, growers should watch for the pest sticking around indoors. Eric Benson, an entomology professor and Extension specialist at Clemson University, said the invasive pest’s presence began a few years ago.
“It has been increasing, but it’s not uniform. A house could have problems this year … Then next year we don’t have problems,” Benson said. “I would expect calls to come in soon because they start to cluster in large numbers.”
To learn more about pest management techniques, Clemson University is offering a series of fall pest training workshops to cover different seasonal nuisances. Check out https://www.stopbmsb.org/ for more information on managing BMSBs.
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