WOOSTER, Ohio – Ohio State University Extension entomologists are trying to determine the range of a relatively new pesky insect and they are asking Ohio homeowners for assistance.
Ron Hammond, an entomologist with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, said that homeowners who find the brown marmorated stink bug in their homes this fall should contact their local OSU Extension county office.
"We have been receiving a number of reports of this insect being found in homes throughout Ohio," said Hammond. "We feel it is imperative to determine where in the state this stink bug is currently being found. The easiest way to accomplish this is to hear from homeowners who are finding the insect in their homes."
The brown marmorated stink bug is an insect that was first introduced in Pennsylvania from southeast Asia in 2001. It is considered a serious pest in several states—Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, South Carolina, California, to name a few. While still new to Ohio, the insect is being found in more frequency.
Hammond said that the pest is a serious concern because the insect feeds on field crops like soybeans and a number of vegetable crops and ornamentals. It can also attack crops that produce fruit, like peaches, cherries, pears and crabapples.
In addition, the insect will accumulate in houses during late fall looking for overwintering sites, much like the multicolored Asian lady beetle.
"Numbers can reach into the hundreds, even the thousands," said Hammond. "Our colleagues in other states have indicated that damaging populations often occur about two years after the insect is first discovered in an area."
The brown marmorated stink bug looks just like the more common brown stink bug, but has a black and white-banded antennae and black and white bands around the edge of its body.
If found, homeowners are asked to either to take a photo of the insect with a digital camera and send to Ron Hammond at firstname.lastname@example.org, or deliver the insect to their local OSU Extension country office for identification.
To learn more about the insect, log on to http://entomology.osu.edu/ag/images/Marmorated_Stink_Bug.pdf.