The government of B.C. would like the people of British Columbia to be on the lookout for the brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys) that will attack tree fruits, berries, grapes, vegetables, corn and ornamental plants.
Currently this pest is not present in B.C. and the Ministry of Agriculture would like to prevent it from coming into the province. The best way for the public to assist is to not bring fruits or vegetables into B.C. from the United States, other countries or other provinces.
The bug is a very serious pest that feeds on more than 80 different plant species. In 2010, an estimated loss of $37 million due to brown marmorated stink bug feeding was reported by the apple industry in the Mid-Atlantic United States.
The stink bug is also a nuisance to homeowners, as the adults aggregate on and in buildings while seeking warm overwintering sites.
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. 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.
Stink bugs can be a contamination issue for grapes because the presence of a few adults at crush can taint wine. While this pest is currently not present in B.C., growers and homeowners are asked to report any suspect brown marmorated stink bug to the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture offices or contacts below:
In the Southern Interior: Susanna Acheampong Ministry of Agriculture Email: Susanna.Acheampong@gov.bc.ca
Check out a BC Ministry of Agriculture brochure with photos: http://www.al.gov.bc.ca/cropprot/bmsb_alert.pdf