Brown marmorated stink bug on leaf.

2018-19 Rapid Ag: Evaluating Infestation and Potential Natural Enemies of Brown Marmorated Stink Bug in Minnesota Apple Orchards

June 7, 2017

Principal Leader

Christopher R. Philips


Department of Entomology and the North Central Research and Outreach Center in Grand Rapids

Funding Awarded

  • 2018 Fiscal Year: $62,011
  • 2019 Fiscal Year: $62,795

The Problem

Among the recent invasive species in Minnesota, the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) has the potential to be the most devastating pest of apple in Minnesota. It was first discovered in Minnesota in 2009 and immatures have been detected the past two years indicating breeding populations. Significant injury caused by BMSB in orchards can result in large economic losses. 


Apples are the most important fruit crop in Minnesota, with an annual harvest of just over 26 million pounds and an estimated market value of approximately $18 million
(USDA-NASS 2015). From a pest management perspective, apple research has initially been designed to deal with urgent, short-term control, and education. However, disseminating information for longer-term understanding of pest mitigation strategies and education has been non-existent.

There are numerous pests of apple, and several insects and diseases native to eastern North America have adopted apple trees as a new host. In addition to host expansion by native pests, many diseases and insects native to Europe and Asia have found their way to North America and have become endemic in Midwest apple orchards. Given the lack of recent research on apples in Minnesota, we currently do not know to what extent some of these new invaders have invaded apple orchards, or how their invasion impacts current pest and IPM programs. 

Currently there are over 500 introduced crop pests in the U.S. that cost growers about $13 billion in crop losses and another $500 million in control costs (Pimentel 2005). Among the recent invasive species in
Minnesota, the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) has the potential to be the most devastating pest of apple in Minnesota. It was first discovered in Minnesota in 2009 and immatures have been detected the past two years indicating breeding populations. In apples, feeding by this insect creates cork-like dead spots that can become sunken and render the fruit unmarketable. Significant injury caused by BMSB in orchards can result in large economic losses. For example, in 2010, the apple industry alone estimated losses of about $37 million due to BMSB damage in the mid-Atlantic region. Based on the magnitude of damage inflicted by BMSB in the Mid-Atlantic, growers in recently-invaded areas such as Minnesota are gravely concerned (Wiman and Hoddle 2015). 


Currently we have no data on BMSB in Minnesota orchards, or what natural enemies are present in these orchards that may help combat this pest. The overall goal is to provide knowledge that will aid in optimizing monitoring and control strategies for this invasive pest. To accomplish this, we will: 

  1. Evaluate BMSB infestations in and around apple orchards.
  2. Evaluate natural enemy communities and identify key species in BMSB suppression.
  3. Disseminate results through innovative outreach/extension programs.


  1. Leskey TC, Agnello AM, Bergh JC, Dively G, Hamilton G, Jentsch P, Khrimian A, Krawczyk G, Kuhar T, Lee D-H, Morrison W, Polk D, Rodriguez-Saona C, Shearer PW, Short BD, Shrewsbury P, Walgenbach JF, Welty C, Whalen J, Wiman N, Zaman F. 2015a. Attraction of the invasive Halyomorpha halys (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) to traps baited with semiochemical stimuli across the United States. Environ Entomol. 44: 746-756. 

  2. Leskey TC, Short BD, Butler BR, Wright SE. 2012c. Impact of the invasive brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys (Stål), in mid-Atlantic tree fruit orchards in the United States: case studies of commercial management. Psyche: A Journal of Entomology. 2012: 1-14. 
  3. Pimentel, D. 2005.  Environmental and Economic Costs of the Application of Pesticides Primarily in the United States’Environment, Development and Sustainability 7: 229–252.
  4. Weber DC, Leskey TC, Walsh GC, Khrimian A. 2014. Synergy of aggregation pheromone with methyl (E, E, Z)-2, 4, 6-decatrienoate in attraction of Halyomorpha halys (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae). J Econ Entomol. 107: 1061-1068.
  5. Wiman N, Hoddle M. 2015. USDA-NIFA SCRI Planning grant: Addressing the threat of brown marmorated stink bug in the western U.S.