Good Fruit Grower

March 1

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Pest Management Stinkbug is strong flier T he brown marmorated stinkbug continues to spread, coming alarmingly close to commercial fruit-producing regions of the Pacific Northwest, and new research shows that it flies longer distances than previously suspected. The pest, which attacks a wide range of plants, was first seen in the United States in 1996 in northeast Pennsylvania, where it presumably arrived with goods imported from Asia. It then spread throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, where it has caused significant damage to apples and other crops, and tormented home owners. At the last count, it was in 39 states, including California, Oregon, and Washington, Dr. Peter Shearer, Oregon State University entomologist, reported to growers at winter meetings. Its arrival on the West Coast is particularly worrisome because of the large volume of crops grown and their high value. Since the bug (also known as the East Asian stinkbug or the yellowbrown stinkbug) was found in Portland, Oregon, in 2004, it has spread south through Oregon���s Willamette Valley, north into Washington up the Interstate 5 corridor, and east to The Dalles, Mosier, and Hood River, one of Oregon���s prime tree-fruit regions. It is now established in the downtown Hood River area and moving south towards the district���s orchards. One bug was detected in Yakima, Washington. ���If it���s not here yet, it will be sometime,��� Shearer warned growers in Wenatchee, Washington. New research shows that the brown marmorated stinkbug can move long distances independently. by Geraldine Warner Hitchhikes The bug, whose official name is Halyomorpha halys, is bigger than other stinkbugs with a body about the size of a dime. It hitchhikes long distances on campers, vans, and freight trains, which explains how it���s been able to travel from coast to coast. But recent research at OSU has revealed that the bug can get around quite well without any help, thank you very much. Dr. Nik Wiman, a postdoctoral researcher at OSU in Corvallis, used flight mills to assess how far the bug can fly. The device consists of a lightweight metal rod threaded through a pivot to allow frictionless rotation of the rod. A bug is hot-glued to one end of the rod, and the other end has a counterbalance. As the bug flies, it goes round in circles, and the distance it travels can be calculated from the number of rotations it makes during a certain period. Wiman found that while most brown marmorated stinkbugs flew ten miles or so in 24 hours, certain males could fly almost 40 miles and some females further than that. Given that a bug can live for weeks and weeks, it has the potential to move long distances, Shearer noted. ���We could be underestimating how important flight is in this pest���s dispersal,��� he said. ���Once this bug���s in a particular location, it can spread relatively rapidly.��� Stinkbugs belong to a group of insects���along with aphids, pear psylla, and leafhoppers���that have sucking mouthparts. The bugs use their beaks to secrete saliva in the fruit and then suck up the plant juices, discoloring the fruit flesh. Damage to apples can resemble bitter pit. On peaches, feeding on small fruit causes dimpling, while damage to more mature fruit resembles bruising. The bug has also A Trissolcus parasitic wasp with been seen feeding through peach and maple bark. brown marmorated stinkbug eggs. 24 MARCH 1, 2013 GOOD FRUIT GROWER

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