The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

October 27, 2012

A stinky situation: Brown marmorated stink bug invades Iowa

OTTUMWA — A bug that was once only found in China and Japan has hitched a ride to Iowa.

The Iowa State University Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic has confirmed that the brown marmorated stink bug has made its way to both Scott and Johnson counties.

“The stink bug tends to overwinter in human habitations and vehicles,” said Laura Jesse, extension entomologist at the diagnostic clinic. “It’s hitched a ride from out east and made it’s way here. It was human-aided, but not in a good way.”

First identified in the United States in Pennsylvania in 2001, the stink bug has now been detected in Iowa and six of the seven surrounding states. In early October, the first stink bugs in Iowa were reported in Scott County, and additional samples from the Davenport and Bettendorf area were identified last week as BMSB.

While no counties in southeast Iowa have been identified as infested yet, the stink bug has proven itself to spread rapidly once in a new area.

“It’s hard to identify when there’s only one bug, but when there are three or four different people in a county sending us information, we’re better able to monitor its movement,” Jesse said.

The stink bug has been found in 38 states, posing severe agricultural problems in six of them and nuisance problems in 10 others.

“When we look at the East Coast, it took about a decade before there were severe plant problems and a significant breeding population,” Jesse said.

During the summer months, stink bugs use their piercing and sucking mouthparts to feed on plant sap from fruits, vegetables, ornamentals and field crops. For gardeners, this means attacks on apple trees, peppers, tomatoes and other vegetation. Farmers need to be aware of the bugs’ appetite for both corn and soybeans.

As the days cool off, they migrate to overwintering sites, congregating on houses and buildings. They will often wander into homes much the way boxelder bugs and multicolored Asian lady beetles do. Stink bugs are named for the disagreeable odor they produce, making the invasion even more unpleasant.

“The stink bug is an accidental invader, so we’re relying on homeowners to identify the stink bug if they see it,” Jesse said. “If they email us a picture or send in the bug, we can better track its movement over the next few years.”

Identifying the movement of the stink bug through Iowa is critical, Jesse says. While they’re able to watch the way eastern states are dealing with the infestation, biological control and increasing insecticide sprays aren’t effective methods when so much relies on safe crop procedures.

“We hope that before it’s a problem, we can learn what to do to control the breeding population,” Jesse said. “Right now we’re just in the infancy. We can monitor it and track it. And we can watch the East Coast and learn how they’re dealing with this damaging population.”

For your information

To have digital pictures of stink bugs identified or to submit any questions about insects in the region, email the ISU Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic at insects@iastate.edu.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Alternate juror could not have convicted Techel based on evidence DAVENPORT — An alternate juror who was dismissed before Seth Techel, 23, of Agency was convicted of killing his wife and the non-consensual termination of a human pregnancy says the verdict could have been different if she had been in deliberations.D

    July 25, 2014

  • Overcome testing fear, get a good job OTTUMWA — It's not who you know, it's what you know. That's what City leaders say about getting a good paying job in Ottumwa. "It seems like in the last year we've had a real reduction in the number of individuals who've applied," said Joni Keith, hu

    July 25, 2014

  • Water Pollution Control Facility gets OK to upgrade OTTUMWA — An emergency Ottumwa City Council meeting resulted in spending $140,583 for the Water Pollution Control Facility. Friday afternoon, council members listened intently as Ottumwa Water Pollution Control Facility Superintendent Kam Reeves told

    July 25, 2014

  • Quincy Ave. project starts Aug. 4 OTTUMWA — Updates on the Quincy Avenue project was given to residents and businesses residing between Albia Road and Hwy. 34 on Thursday night at Ottumwa City Hall. About a dozen people attended the meeting where City Engineer Dan Sturm gave an updat

    July 25, 2014

  • 0724 OTT Tehel mug -T -M Resolution — Techel verdict reached

    DAVENPORT — The father of a slain Wapello County woman said he began to heal as soon as he heard the guilty verdict today. The jury unanimously pronounced Seth Techel, 23, guilty on charges of first-degree murder and non-consensual termination of a h

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Silence continues on fatal shooting OTTUMWA — Law enforcement is exercising its right to remain silent about a shooting death that occurred south of town this week. The Wapello County Sheriff's Office, which had responded to the shooting, said most information on the case would now com

    July 25, 2014

  • 0726 OTT cedar creek Gone in a flash

    BLOOMFIELD — Bob Parker got about as close to lightning as you can Friday morning, and came out of it without injury. A line of thunderstorms started moving through southeast Iowa in the early morning hours. Parker was heading to work at about 7 a.m.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0726 OTT Garden Bites III Color Photo -T Garden Bites sees growth BLOOMFIELD — Nearly one month ago, families gathered at Pioneer Ridge Nature Center to plant various vegetables to harvest and eat on Thursday at Garden Bites. The program allows families to get their hands a bit dirty at Pioneer Ridge and plant food

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0725 OTT Riverfront design A new outlook on Ottumwa OTTUMWA — A "River Renaissance" is brewing in Wapello County. Planners working for Christian Rushing Studio from Tennessee took the public's ideas, and gave them life via maps, numerical projections and artists' renderings. "Hold onto your seats; you

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police to parents: check kids' online activities BLOOMFIELD — The Bloomfield police chief says the arrests of nine men in connection with sexting a teenage girl underscores the need for parents to keep an eye on their children online. Chief Shawn Armstrong said cases involving one or two people are

    July 24, 2014

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook