Efficacy of organically approved insecticides against brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys and other stink bugs
The brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys (Stål), is an Asian species that now dominates the stink bug complex in many cultivated crops throughout the mid-Atlantic United States. Sweet corn (Zea mays L.) is a preferred host of H. halys, and the bug can cause kernel injury on developing ears. Currently, there is limited information available on which plant growth stages are most sensitive to H. halys feeding or density of bugs required to cause yield and quality reductions on processing and fresh market sweet corn ears. In 2011 and 2012, sweet corn ears were infested at three different corn growth stages: silking (R1), blister (R2), and milk (R3) at densities of zero, one, three, and five H. halys adults per ear for 7 d. At harvest, four yield measurements were assessed and ears were inspected for quality reductions. The greatest yield loss from H. halys occurred when infestations were initiated during early stages of ear development, and the greatest quality reductions (damaged kernels) occurred during later stages of ear development. A density of one H. halys per ear resulted in levels of kernel damage great enough to cause significant quality reductions. This study highlights the ability of H. halys to cause substantial economic losses in both fresh market and processing sweet corn in a relatively short period of time at low population densities. Therefore, infestations by this insect in sweet corn must be considered when making pest management decisions in regions where it has become established.