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Generally, stink bugs are shield-shaped, have long piercing-sucking mouthparts, and often release an odor when crushed. 10;10;Brown marmorated stink bugs (Figure 1) are mottled shades of brown and gray and are covered with dense puncture marks on the upper side of the body. The underside of the body is white, sometimes with gray or black markings. They have dark red eyes and the legs are brown with faint white banding. Broad light and dark bands on the last two antennal segments distinguish BMSB from other stink bugs. 10;10;Green stink bugs (Figure 2) are bright green in color and measure 14 to 19 mm long.1 A narrow, orange to yellow line borders the major body regions of the green stink bug. 10;10;Brown stink bugs (Figure 3) are commonly found in corn. The adults have a shield-shaped body nearly 12 to15 mm long and are dull grayish-yellow in color.
Damage occurs when stink bugs insert their needle-like mouthparts into the plant tissue, injecting enzymes to dissolve the tissue, then sucking out plant sap. At the location of feeding punctures, small brown to black spots may be formed.
The BMSB is very mobile and expected to be problematic again this year in corn and soybean fields. Suspected insects or damage from BMSB can be brought to local county extension offices for identification. Many insecticides, including pyrethroids, are effective against BMSB; however, spray equipment needs to be adjusted to allow for adequate coverage of the product. Damage to crops may be most severe near tree lines, and field perimeter treatments may be used to temporarily stop a BMSB invasion. Such treatments likely will limit the insect for a short time as adult BMSB can move in and out of fields as well as move farther into the field. As adults, stink bugs are strong fliers and can fly to other fields. Consequently, stink bug management can be challenging as they may fly toward more attractive feeding locations when reproductive stages begin in nearby fields.6