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Be on the Lookout -- a new pest in town

The brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB to those in the know) is a newcomer to Oregon. Even so entomologists are predicting it can cause millions of dollars in damage to food crops. The most common signs of stink bug damage are pitting and scarring of the fruit, leaf destruction, and a mealy texture to the harvested fruits and vegetables. In most cases the signs of stink bug damage makes the plant unsuitable for sale in the market as the insides are usually rotten.

What to do

1. Learn to recognize a BMSB

The adults are approximately 17 mm (0.67 in) long and about as wide, forming the shield shape characteristic of other stink bugs. They are various shades of brown on both the top and undersides, with gray, off-white, black, copper, and bluish markings. Markings unique to this species include alternating light bands on the antennae and alternating dark bands on the thin outer edge of the abdomen. The legs are brown with faint white mottling or banding. The stink glands are located on the underside of the thorax, between the first and second pair of legs, and on the dorsal surface of the abdomen.

2. Report any sightings

If you think you have seen this pest, report to the OSU Department of Horticulture. OSU researchers need the help of gardeners, farmers, retailers, in fact everyone to locate emerging or established populations of the BMSB. Researchers rely on live specimens to study habits and develop control methods.

OSU would like to know the following types of information:

  • Time and date of sighting

  • Location of siting (agricultural, urban, natural)

  • Host plant (ornamental, weedy, crop)

  • Estimated number of BMSB

3. Get educated about BMSB

It's important that we all help to protect our local food crops. Check out the Stop BMSB website for lots of good information.

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