PestWorld - July/August 2017 - 21

B

BROWN MARMORATED STINK BUGS (BMSB)
ARE INVASIVE insects considered an agricul-

tural pest and structural nuisance. The goal
of this research was to evaluate the effectiveness of physical exclusion in preventing
indoor populations of BMSB. Over a 15-month
period, a total of only eight overwintering
pests were intercepted. Low trap counts,
combined with results from resident surveys,
suggest that basic observational research is
needed to better understand BMSB behavior
around structures and to enhance overwintering pest management.
BACKGROUND AND JUSTIFICATION
The brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is
an invasive insect from Asia that was accidentally introduced to the United States
near Allentown, Pennsylvania. Since its discovery in the 1990s, BMSB has expanded
its range to 41 U.S. states and Canada. It
feeds on over 100 different host plants, causing physical damage and economic losses.
For example, in 2010, the apple industry
reported losses totaling $37 million from
BMSB (Leskey et al. 2012).

For urban pest professionals, BMSB are a
problem when adults enter buildings as overwintering pests. The prevailing theory is that
BMSB orient toward broad vertical surfaces
in the fall when temperatures, daylight or
host plant quality decrease. BMSB then seek
dark crevices, using their antennae to detect
pheromones and locate other stink bugs at
close range (Toyama et al. 2006; 2011). Insects
remain hidden until warm temperatures cause
them to explore outside of their harborage.
On warm winter afternoons, bugs indoors
may be attracted to the light of windows
during the day and artificial lights at night,
such as reading lamps and electronics. This
brings BMSB into close contact with homeowners and causes distress. In the spring,
when temperature and day length increase,
overwintered BMSB return outdoors to feed
and reproduce.
Management of BMSB, both in agricultural
and urban areas, has relied on insecticide applications to kill all life stages, and is particularly
effective against nymphs and overwintered
adults (Leskey et al. 2013). However, many
products currently employed to control BMSB
have reduced efficacy as residues against adult
insects, while label changes to pyrethroids limit
how these products can be applied by urban
pest professionals.
Physical exclusion is often promoted as
a practice to reduce pest numbers indoors.
Sealing cracks and crevices around doors, windows, utility access points, chimneys, siding
and fascia have been promoted in extension
bulletins and technical guides for BMSB (Day
et al. 2011). Despite its purported efficacy,
however, to date there have been no scientific
evaluations of pest exclusion. Therefore, the
goal of this project was to scientifically evaluate the use of physical exclusion to prevent
indoor invasion of BMSB.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
This research took place at a condominium
complex in Hartsdale, New York where residents identified BMSB populations as problematic in recent years. Within the complex,
two to four individual units (condominiums)
are joined to form a block, providing an ideal
design to test exclusion for a pair of units: one,
a treatment that received pest exclusion and
the other, a control that did not. Eleven pairs
and one triplet of units enrolled in the study
for a total of 23 condominiums.
In July 2015, window and doorframes on
treatment units were inspected for gaps

around flanges (Figure 1). A readily available clear silicone-based sealant was used
to seal gaps where exclusion efforts had not
been complete or the material had failed. This
did not include window weep holes, which
allow water drainage (Figure 2). Sealant was
examined in July 2016 to verify that gaps
remained closed.
SilenTraps and GLOStiks were operated from
August-November 2015, March-May 2016 and
September-November 2016, which correspond
to periods of BMSB activity around buildings.
When devices were in operation, they were
serviced once per month to replace batteries
on GLOStiks, SilenTrap glue boards and GLOStik
tubes as needed. In addition, residents were
asked to keep track of the number of BMSB
they observed during the year.
A preliminary survey was administered to
residents in June 2015 for baseline information
about BMSB activity within their unit, with a
final survey administered in November 2016.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
The goal of this study was to evaluate the use
of exclusion as a technique to prevent indoor
infestations of the brown marmorated stink
bug. Unfortunately, low trap counts of intercepted insects precluded analysis of results.
Specifically, over a 15-month period with three
trapping sessions (fall 2015, spring 2016, fall
2016), a total of only eight overwintering pests
were collected on SilenTraps in the living space
of homes: six BMSB (Table 1), one Western conifer-seed bug and one multicolored Asian lady
beetle. No overwintering pests were collected
on GLOStiks in attics.
Unit #

Control

Exclusion

1

0

0

2

0

0

3

0

0

4

1

1

5

2

0

6

0

0

7

0

0

8

2*

0

9

0

0

10

0

0

11

0

0

Total

5

1

Table 1. BMSB collected on SilenTraps during trapping efforts in Fall 2015, Spring 2016 and Fall 2016. All
insects collected in Fall 2015 unless otherwise noted.
*Collected Spring 2016
PESTWORLD > JULY | AUGUST 2017

| 21



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of PestWorld - July/August 2017

Cultivating Confidence
Boost Your Bottom Line
Staffing Challenges as a Pest Management Business Grows
Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs
How to Fire an Employee Legally and Fairly
President’s Message
Standards: Calibrating Your Business Operations
PestWorld - July/August 2017 - Intro
PestWorld - July/August 2017 - 1
PestWorld - July/August 2017 - 2
PestWorld - July/August 2017 - 3
PestWorld - July/August 2017 - 4
PestWorld - July/August 2017 - 5
PestWorld - July/August 2017 - 6
PestWorld - July/August 2017 - 7
PestWorld - July/August 2017 - President’s Message
PestWorld - July/August 2017 - 9
PestWorld - July/August 2017 - Cultivating Confidence
PestWorld - July/August 2017 - 11
PestWorld - July/August 2017 - 12
PestWorld - July/August 2017 - 13
PestWorld - July/August 2017 - Boost Your Bottom Line
PestWorld - July/August 2017 - 15
PestWorld - July/August 2017 - Staffing Challenges as a Pest Management Business Grows
PestWorld - July/August 2017 - 17
PestWorld - July/August 2017 - 18
PestWorld - July/August 2017 - 19
PestWorld - July/August 2017 - Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs
PestWorld - July/August 2017 - 21
PestWorld - July/August 2017 - 22
PestWorld - July/August 2017 - 23
PestWorld - July/August 2017 - Standards: Calibrating Your Business Operations
PestWorld - July/August 2017 - 25
PestWorld - July/August 2017 - 26
PestWorld - July/August 2017 - 27
PestWorld - July/August 2017 - How to Fire an Employee Legally and Fairly
PestWorld - July/August 2017 - 29
PestWorld - July/August 2017 - 30
PestWorld - July/August 2017 - 31
PestWorld - July/August 2017 - 32
PestWorld - July/August 2017 - 33
PestWorld - July/August 2017 - 34
PestWorld - July/August 2017 - 35
PestWorld - July/August 2017 - 36
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