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Title: Size restrictions on the passage of overwintering Halyomorpha halys (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) through openings

item CHAMBERS, BENJAMIN - Virginia Tech
item KUHAR, THOMAS - Virginia Tech
item REICHARD, GEORG - Virginia Tech
item Leskey, Tracy
item PEARCE, ANNIE - Virginia Tech

Submitted to: Journal of Economic Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/7/2019
Publication Date: 2/13/2019
Citation: Chambers, B., Kuhar, T.P., Reichard, G., Leskey, T.C., Pearce, A.R. 2019. Size restrictions on the passage of overwintering Halyomorpha halys (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) through openings. Journal of Economic Entomology. 112(3):1343-1347.

Interpretive Summary: Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is a serious nuisance pest for homeowners in the fall when adults move to potential sites for overwintering hibernation. One tactic that is commonly used by homeowners is physical exclusion. However, it is not known how large a gap BMSB can pass through to enter buildings and other structures. Through a series of experiments, we found that successful exclusion will require openings to be less than 3 mm x 7 mm (0 .11 inches x 0.27 inches).

Technical Abstract: Intentional and unintentional openings in a building’s envelope provide opportunities for unwanted pests to enter buildings. Brown marmorated stink bugs, Halyomorpha halys (Stål), are one such pest, causing a significant domestic winter nuisance in many locations. One important means of pest control is exclusion or blocking openings through which they can enter, although some openings are intentional and cannot be completely blocked without putting a building at risk. To help understand what size openings are relevant to entry, adult H. halys ready for overwintering were driven out of heated boxes through holes designed to limit passage by their lateral and dorsoventral dimensions. Protonum-limited holes 8 mm were passed by only one female, and no females and only one male passed through 7 mm wide holes. For dorsoventrally limited holes, few females passed through 4 mm high slits, and no individuals passed through 3 mm high slits. Dorsoventral heights and pronotum widths of 930 individuals collected in Virginia were measured. Females were consistently larger, with pronotums averaging 8.33 mm wide to the males’ 7.47 mm, and heights at the point of leg movement restriction averaging 4.03 mm to the males’ 3.50 mm. Based on experimental data and size data, we conclude that most H. halys individuals will be excluded by holes smaller than 3 mm by 7 mm.