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Green Stink Bug

Green Stinkbugs are bright green with yellow, orange, or red edges. They have black spots on their sides and grow up to 3/4 inch long. Stinkbugs are shield-shaped (think of a shield from Medieval times).Green Stinkbugs live in fields, gardens, and the edges of woods.

Green Stink Bug

Green Stink Bug

The southern green stink bug is believed to have originated in Ethiopia. Its distribution now includes the tropical and subtropical regions of Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas. In South America, it is expanding its range to Paraguay, south Argentina and toward the north-east of Brazil, due to expanding soybean production . In North America, it is limited primarily to the southeastern United States, Virginia to Florida in the east, Ohio and Arkansas in the midwest, and to Texas in the southwest. It is also established in Hawaii and California .

The adult is shield-shaped with an overall dull green color. The eyes are dark red or black. Small black dots can be found along the sides of the abdomen. The wings completely cover the abdomen. The males average 12.1 mm in length and females 13.15 mm in length. Copulation may last a few minutes to a few days. Females can lay eggs three to four weeks after becoming adults. The average female lays one egg mass but production of two egg masses in not uncommon. A female southern green stink bug could lay as many as 260 eggs over her life span.

Life cycle:The southern green stink bug can complete its life cycle in 65 to 70 days. It is most prevalent during the periods of October through December and again in March through April. The southern green stink bug is known to have up to four generations per year in warm climates. The southern green stink bug overwinters as an adult, and hides in the bark of trees, leaf litter, or other locations to obtain protection from the weather. As spring temperatures begin to warm, the southern green stink bug moves out of the winter cover and begins feeding and oviposition.

Damage:The southern green stink bug has piercing-sucking mouthparts. The mouth consists of a long beak-like structure called the rostrum. Salivary fluid is pumped down the salivary duct and liquefied food is pumped up the food canal. All plant parts are likely to be fed upon, but growing shoots and developing fruit are preferred. Attached shoots usually wither, or in extreme cases may die. The damage on fruit from the punctures is hard brownish or black spots. These punctures affect the fruit’s edible qualities and decidedly lower its market value. Young fruit growth is retarded and it often withers and drops from the plant. In addition to the visual damage caused by southern green stink bug feeding, the mechanical transmission of tomato bacterial spot may also result.

Green Stink Bug

Green Stink Bug

Control:The use of trap crops is not a widely accepted idea for control of the southern green stink bug, but it has excellent potential as a type of control. The choice for trap crops in the summer would be leguminous plants such as cowpeas and beans. In the late fall and early spring cruciferous plants are recommended. The trap crop should be sprayed or plowed under before the developing southern green stink bugs become adults to prevent them from migrating to the main crop. Insecticides are commonly applied at blossom and fruit formation.

Stink bugs have some natural enemies, including several common species of birds. As their name implies, stink bugs emit an unpleasant odor and repel many predators. To determine when chemical control is necessary, shake the plants on about 1 meter of row over a muslin cloth and count the number of stink bugs. The economic threshold varies from 1 stink bug per 0.3 meter of row to 1 bug per 0.9 meter of row, depending upon state extension service recommendations.

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