|CHAMBERS, BENJAMIN - Virginia Tech|
|CULLUM, JOHN - Virginia Tech|
|PEARCE, ANNIE - Virginia Tech|
|KUHAR, THOMAS - Virginia Tech|
Submitted to: Journal of Economic Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/11/2020
Publication Date: 3/12/2020
Citation: Chambers, B.D., Leskey, T.C., Cullum, J.P., Pearce, A.R., Kuhar, T. 2020. Cavity tightness preferences of overwintering Halyomorpha halys (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae). Journal of Economic Entomology. 113(3):1572-1575. https://doi.org/10.1093/jee/toaa036.
Interpretive Summary: Brown marmorated stink bug is a serious nuisance pest as large numbers of adults enter homes seeking shelter in the fall. Based on laboratory experiments, we found that adults heading to overwintering sites can enter and settle within spaces between 4.5-5.5 mm. Adults typically settle with their head oriented to the entrance into the space. In a field study, males typically settled within shelters with smaller spaces compared with females. These studies provide further information regarding the space necessary for an adult bug to enter and overwintering site, and how they can be physically excluded.
Technical Abstract: Brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys) (Stål) is a household nuisance pest that seeks shelter in buildings during the winter months. They have been found in a variety of cavities and spaces between building elements, as well as in the objects stored within buildings. This experiment examined the cavity tightness preferences for these insects as they settled in winter refugia. Adult overwintering H. halys were placed in two types of simulated refugia made from rigid material. Each type had a cavity of constant width, while one had a constant height, and the other had a diminishing height. H. halys were allowed to enter and settle, then their locations were recorded. In diminishing height cavities, H. halys tended to settle where the cavity height was between 4.5-mm and 5.5-mm. In the constant height cavity boxes, H. halys tended to move all the way back and settled along edges and in corners. In both configurations, H. halys had a significant tendency to orient their heads towards the cavity entrance. A field comparison of cavity heights in refugia with less rigid cardboard substrates was also performed with spacers consisting of one or two layers of 3-mm cardboard. This comparison found differences in cavity selection by sex, with males more likely to pick single spaced layers and females more likely to select double spaced layers.