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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Wapato, Washington » Temperate Tree Fruit and Vegetable Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #410296

Research Project: Integrated Approach to Manage the Pest Complex on Temperate Tree Fruits

Location: Temperate Tree Fruit and Vegetable Research

Title: Using stink bug migration behavior for physical exclusion

item Marshall, Adrian
item BEERS, ELIZABETH - Washington State University

Submitted to: Environmental Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/11/2024
Publication Date: 3/25/2024
Citation: Marshall, A.T., Beers, E.H. 2024. Using stink bug migration behavior for physical exclusion. Environmental Entomology.

Interpretive Summary: Stink bugs are a group of plant feeding insects that includes many important pests of crops. Recently, Washington state apple growers have been experiencing increased levels of stink bug damage. Growers rely on late summer insecticide applications for stink bug control which has not been effective and can cause outbreaks of other pests. This study found that stink bugs move into orchards and cause damage before growers are applying insecticides. It also showed that building a net barrier at the orchard border stopped some stink bugs from getting into the orchard. This research updates when apples are at risk of stink bug damage and provides growers an alternative to insecticides for control.

Technical Abstract: Stink bugs have become an increasing concern for tree fruit growers due to changing management strategies and the introduction of an invasive species. The use of broad-spectrum insecticides for stink bug control disrupts biological control and leads to secondary pest outbreaks. To seek alternative tactics, we investigated the physical exclusion of native stink bugs with single-wall net barriers at orchard borders. First, stink bug capture on clear sticky panels along orchard edges showed that movement between the native shrub-steppe vegetation and the orchard occurs for much of the growing season instead of the presumed single migration event in August. Most stink bugs were captured between 1 m and 3 m heights, signifying a 4 m exclusion barrier would intercept migrating bugs. We tested large net barriers (4 m × 23 m) constructed of plain netting with or without deltamethrin-infused netting in flaps compared to a no-net control. The capture of target and nontarget arthropods was determined with plastic tarps below the nets or on the open ground of the control. Net barriers did not directly affect stink bug densities in the orchards, although orchard populations were low overall. Barriers did intercept stink bugs, and the addition of deltamethrin flaps enhanced stink bug mortality but at the price of nontarget arthropod mortality. Our results indicate that stink bug management efforts should focus earlier in the growing season and given the long period of migration, barriers are a more sustainable way of slowing movement into the orchard than the current sole reliance on chemical control.