BMSB Update: Bifenthrin Use recommendations, Section 18 Labels Available

BMSB on Hudson Valley peach: August 2014
BMSB on Hudson Valley peach: August 2014

New York’s Section 18 application for the use of products containing bifenthrin has been approved by the EPA. This is a renewal by 

the EPA and NYS DEC of a ‘Section 18 Emergency/Crisis Exemption Approval’ use permit for the pyrethroid bifenthrin to control brown marmorated stink bug on apples, peaches, and nectarines this year. Comparative efficacy studies in the lab and field have shown bifenthrin to be one of the most effective insecticides available against BMSB for use in NY State. Although this is an important tool for management of BMSB, the residual against this pest is relatively short lived, requiring vigilance in trapping and scouting 4 days post application.

The regional application request was submitted to EPA from the mid-Atlantic states of DE, MD, NC, NJ, PA,VA, WV and NY state.

 Its use is limited to Columbia, Dutchess, Orange and Ulster Counties of NY.

Bifenthrin is a pyrethroid sold under the trade names of Brigade WSB (10% bifenthrin, EPA Reg. No. 279-3108, FMC Corp.), Bifenture EC (25% bifenthrin, EPA Reg. No. 70506-227), and Bifenture 10DF (10% bifenthrin, EPA Reg. No. 70506-227, United Phosphorus Inc.). 

Labels specific for the Section 18 Exemption for bifenthrin use in NY can be found here:
Brigade WSB
Bifenture EC
Bifenture 10DF

Regardless of the product used, a maximum of 0.08 to 0.2 lb[AI]/acre/season will be allowed, with no more than 0.5 lb a.i./acre applied per year with multiple applications made at a minimum of 30 day intervals; a restricted entry interval (REI) of 12 hours and pre-harvest interval (PHI) of 14 days must be observed.

 When applying either of these materials for BMSB control on apples, peaches, or nectarines, growers must have possession of the Section 18 label.

Tedders trap using pheromone combination lures in peach.
Tedders trap using pheromone combination lures in peach.

BMSB Management: The brown marmorated stink bug is an arboreal insect, residing in woodland deciduous trees. Although the insect prefers an arboreal habitat, with woodland tree species providing nutritional and reproductive resources, in the Northeast it appears to move out of woodlands to orchards during periods of low relative humidity and the onset of drought conditions.

The use of pheromone baited Tedder’s traps will intercept the insect as it makes it way out of the woods and into agricultural crops, including apple and peach. A weekly trap capture of 10 adults / trap is presently being used as the action threshold for management. A single adult within the orchard perimeter rows bordering woodlands or a single apple damaged by stink bug can also be considered as viable action thresholds for BMSB.

We have been monitoring 44 traps in 14 NY counties with data available on-demand, accessible on the Internet at Upon determining the presence of BMSB in counties where the pest is at or above trap threshold and or has caused injury to fruit, applications of bifenthrin should be considered as the first application in managing the insect. The use of bifenthrin is preferred at this time due to its efficacy, a 30-day interval restriction between applications and a 14d PHI.

At trap threshold, during scouting observations of adults or at first fruit injury, consider a first application to be made along the orchard edge as a perimeter spray directed only at the crop. Apply to blocks along the deciduous woodland, hedgerow or clusters of host trees such as catalpa, black locust, Tree of Heaven, maple, cherry or ash. The need for a second application can be triggered as the insect is observed on fruit and/or captured in pheromone traps using 10 BMSB adult per trap per week as indicated by the site or farm trap presence on site.

The rational behind the use of perimeter management is based on two important facts. First, BMSB adults are not endemic as they do not reside or overwinter in the orchard. They will move from deciduous woodlands and or infested fields of vegetable crops initially into the orchard edge. Secondly, from historical orchard damage assessment, BMSB injury occurs within the first 90’ perimeter bordering wooded edge.

In early August, 2012, we observed BMSB developing a second generation. This was followed by movement into the orchard and increased feeding in red delicious beginning late August, with highest numbers of adults observed along the wooded edge of the farm. Across commodities, the highest damage levels from BMSB occur in Ag crops along the perimeter edge. Management along the orchard perimeter crop appears to be very effective and economical. It also preserves predatory mite late in the season when European red mite and two spotted spider mite tend to flare-up.

About Peter J Jentsch

Peter J. Jentsch serves the mid-Hudson Valley pome fruit, grape and vegetable growers as the Senior Extension Associate in the Department of Entomology for Cornell University’s Hudson Valley Laboratory located in Highland, NY. He provides regional farmers with information on insect related research conducted on the laboratory’s 20-acre research farm for use in commercial and organic fruit and vegetable production. Peter is a graduate of the University of Nebraska with a Masters degree in Entomology. He is presently focusing on invasive insect species, monitoring in the urban environment and commercial agricultural production systems throughout the state
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