All of our commercial orchard sites monitored for BMSB (with the exception of the Fishkill site) have shown a dramatic increase of BMSB adult trap activity over the past week. Adult population escalation along the orchard perimeter indicate a growing population of BMSB moving to orchard to feed on fruit in preparation for overwintering. Adults will likely continue to feed on late season varieties through the end of harvest. The importance of this flush of adults can not be understated. For tree fruit harvest that will continue through October will undoubtedly require further management for this pest. Maintaining a tight program will be critical until all fruit is harvested in orchards with BMSB present.
To add insult to injury, we are also seeing varying degrees of Stippen (Calcium Deficiency) and Brooks Spot (Fungal Infection) that makes diagnostics more difficult. Images of apple damage from BMSB and ailments that appear to stink bug injury can be found here.
In previous years we have seen increasing levels of fruit feeding injury within the first 90′ from the orchard edge near woodlands through the harvest of our latest variety, ‘Pink Lady’ in mid-November.Today we observed 1% BMSB injury from a commercial block of 3000 Red Delicious fruit sampled from harvest bins and on the tree, along the orchards wooded edge. It is likely the fruit injury expression will increase once out of storage along the packing line. This time of year, as BMSB numbers increase their feeding on fruit, injury may not be observed at harvest, however, once out of storage fruit have been documented to show >15% injury on Delicious, Golden Delicious and Pink Lady.
The ‘Provisional Trap Threshold’ of 10 adults per trap per week was developed by Tracy Leskey’s team at USDA ARS-W.V. The threshold provides growers with a scientific basis for management, one that we will continue to test as an action threshold this season.
Since the adults will be moving in and out of orchards, scouting will need to be retained to confirm their presence in late season fruit. The insect will seek host food sources to stock up on reserves to take them through the winter while seeking and moving to urban structures and forest trees (upper canopy of dead trees with ‘flaking’ bark) as overwintering sites. Lack of substantial rainfall leading to dry conditions will likely increasing fruit injury from BMSB as the insect seeks a source for water.
Trap Capture and Scouting Threshold: Throughout the Hudson Valley there is a large disparity between orchards of both presence and abundance of BMSB. In some sites management will need to intensify until the last variety is completely harvested, while in other sites BMSB will not be found in traps in numbers that warrant control measures. In all sites scouting should also continue through the remainder of harvest.
Using the ‘Provisional Trap Threshold’, if BMSB adult captures exceed 10/ trap per week, or if the insect is observed on the tree, using 1 BMSB per 100 feet of perimeter orchard linear row, applications for management of BMSB should be made. Employ the first available window using one of the most effective insecticides that will best fit your harvest schedule.
The list of the most effective insecticides for BMSB management is found using this link. NYS labeled insecticides effective for use against the BMSB are available in four major classes including pre-mix formulations.
Thionex and Bifenthrin are the most effective insecticides for use against the BMSB. However, at this point in the season early blocks should be managed using Bifenthrin, Danitol and Lannate (14d PHI), with later harvested blocks employing Thionex (21d PHI). Blocks being harvested next week should use Leverage 360 (7d PHI). Boarder applications to cover most vulnerable blocks should be considered.
Bifenthrin received an emergency exemption use permit (Section 18) to control brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) on apples, peaches, and nectarines in Orange, Dutchess and Ulster Counties of NY. Products include Bifenthure and Brigade, showing the greatest degree of efficacy of the pyrethroid group. However, bifenthrin has a 30d re-application interval, a 14d PHI and 12h REI. When applying either formulation of bifenthrin for BMSB control on apples, peaches, or nectarines, growers must have possession of the Section 18 label, which can be found at: (http://pmep.cce.cornell.edu/regulation/sec18/2014/index.html).