by Elizabeth Beers, Adrian Marshall, and Josh Milnes
While growers and researcher are braced for the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) invasion of Washington, the first people who see them in a given region are homeowners. BMSB likes to overwinter in houses, and can do so in alarmingly high numbers. They also enjoy urban and suburban landscape plants, and find food and shelter in yards and gardens. For this reason, we are enlisting the help of homeowners to track the expansion of BMSB’s range as it moves across the state. We are asking anyone who sees a BMSB to send a photo (for positive identification) along with the address where it was found to tfrec.reportBMSB@wsu.edu. We add this information to our database (http://www.tfrec.wsu.edu/pages/bmsb/Home) in order to keep a record of new areas being invaded, and population levels where it is already known to occur.
In aid of this effort, we set up a booth at the Wenatchee Valley Farmers Market at the Pybus Market in Wenatchee. We brought a live BMSB (safely contained!) and boxes of pinned stink bug specimens to help people distinguish between native stink bugs and this exotic invader. We also provided information on the Beers Lab’s research program on BMSB, as well as scientists across the nation who are working on this pest. We handed out ID cards, and answered any insect-related question that came our way.
The booth was popular with adults and children, and we got several samples submitted to us
This outreach activity was supported in part by grants from USDA-NIFA (2016-51181-25409), the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission (CP-16-101), and the Washington State Commission on Pesticide Registration (16-PN-25) and USDA-NIFA CPPM (2017-70006-22580).