Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Seasonal abundance and phenology of Halyomorpha halys (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) on different pepper cultivars in the mid-Atlantic (United States).

Abstract

The brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys (Stål), is an invasive stink bug (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) introduced into the United States in the mid-1990s. Since its initial establishment, it has spread throughout the east coast as far south as Georgia, and as far north as New Hampshire. While information is available regarding H. halys behavior and life history in some crops, relatively little information is available for vegetables such as peppers. Key questions include understanding when H. halys enters pepper fields to feed and how best to predict infestations, what population levels create economic damage, and if peppers that vary in capsaicin levels also vary in susceptibility to attack. To answer these questions, replicated plots were set up across four mid-Atlantic states using three types of peppers: sweet bell, sweet banana, and hot chili. We found that there was no difference in the overall abundance of all life stages of H. halys on all pepper varieties tested. However, there were differences in bug density by site, but these differences did not translate to differences in the proportion of damaged fruit. The presence of adult H. halys is a better predictor of damage in banana peppers, whereas nymphs are a better predictor in bell pepper. In addition, across all sites, the presence of egg masses was low in pepper crops and densities of both adults and immatures tend to peak on pepper plants in early August. Altogether, this information can be used to help develop a pest management program in peppers that will reduce crop losses to this new devastating pest, while reducing the reliance on insecticides to manage this pest at the same time.