Submitted to: Psyche
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/11/2012
Publication Date: 10/15/2012
Citation: Leskey, T.C., Short, B.D., Butler, B.R., Wright, S.E. 2012. Impact of the invasive brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys (Stal) in Mid-Atlantic tree fruit orchards in the United States: case studies of commercial management. Psyche. DOI:10/1155/2013/535062. Interpretive Summary: The brown marmorated stink bug is an invasive species that has caused extensive injury to many crops including tree fruit in the mid-Atlantic. In 2010 and 2011, we surveyed commercial fruit orchards in the mid-Atlantic to quantify the amount and severity of injury to apple and peach crops. We found that the greatest injury was at the borders of orchard blocks where invading bugs first encountered available fruit. We also found that peaches were vulnerable to injury soon after fruit set, whereas apples, though fed upon by bugs season-long, expressed severe symptoms when fed upon 6-8 weeks after petal fall. We also evaluated a number of established monitoring techniques for other stink bug species and found that none reflected abundance or seasonal activity of brown marmorated stink bug adequately. Finally, we quantified the changes in management programs from 2010 to 2011 and found that growers began to target brown marmorated stink bug season-long in 2011 and used broad-spectrum insecticides to control this pest. This work highlights the need to develop better monitoring tools in order for growers to make more informed management decisions.
Technical Abstract: Four commercial orchards in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States were surveyed weekly in 2010 and 2011 for the presence of brown marmorated stink bug and the injury caused to both apple and peaches. Among tested sampling techniques, baited pyramid traps yielded the most brown marmorated stink bug adults and nymphs, followed by visual observations. Brown marmorated stink bugs began to feed on apples and peaches soon after fruit set and throughout the growing season. Injury to apple was relatively inconsequential until after mid-June, whereas feeding on peaches resulted in immediate economic injury as the surface became distorted, dented, discolored, and the flesh beneath turned brown. Significantly more apples and with greater severity were injured in 2010 than in 2011. Likewise, percent injury on the exterior portion of each apple plot was significantly greater than injury reported from the interior in both years. Growers increased the number of insecticide applications nearly fourfold from 2010 to 2011. In addition to the increased number of targeted insecticide applications, growers also reduced the interval between treatments in 2011. A metric was created to compare the relative intensity of each grower’s commercial management program between seasons and amongst each other.