Brown Marmorated Stink Bug
The brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys, is a plant pest that was accidentally introduced into the United States from its native range in Japan, Korea, and China. It was first reported in the United States in 2001 in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Since then, it has spread throughout the Mid-Atlantic area and is slowly but surely moving south. Although the insect can fly, its spread is probably due to its ability to hitchhike on vehicles and other objects. There have been six confirmed specimens collected in South Carolina (see map link at right) in 2011.
The brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is a true bug in the insect family Pentatomidae and is known as an agricultural pest in its native range. The host list includes ornamental plants, fruit trees, vegetables and legumes. Damage will vary depending on the plant. Leaves can show small stippled areas and/or necrotic areas. On fruit the bugs can cause water-soaked lesions, pitting, dimples, catfacing and/or depressed areas. Adult stink bugs can cause deep feeding injury in fruit such as peaches making them unsalable.
BMSB can become a serious nuisance pest when it invades houses and other buildings in the fall. Large numbers of this stink bug will enter houses to spend the winter. Before entering the building they will congregate on the exterior walls. As the name suggests these insects are capable of emitting a strong, foul odor if disturbed.
Adults are about 1/2 inch long and are shades of brown on both the upper and lower body surfaces. They are the typical "shield" shape of other stink bugs, almost as wide as they are long. To distinguish them from other stink bugs, look for white stripes on the antennae and alternating bands of brown and white on the margins of the abdomen. Faint white bands are also evident on the legs.
DPI, Clemson Entomology and Clemson Extension are working together to monitor this pest. If you think you have found a brown marmorated stink bug please contact your local county Extension office. Additionally, you can email a digital photo to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org.