IPM for BMSB

Asked September 18, 2018, 5:10 PM EDT

I have two asian pear trees and two european (bartlett and comice) pear trees that all heavily cropped this year. Almost all the fruit is deeply dimpled and distorted with hard spots that make the pears unusable. As far as I can tell the damage is from the brown marmorated stink bug. I have picked and destroyed the pears and will rake and destroy all leaves at leaf fall. Please advise as to tree management strategies from here on to ensure usable fruit next year. I'd like to be as organic as possible using cultural practices but also incorporate a spray schedule to keep the pests out of my orchard. Whenever I see a stink bug it goes in a bucket of soapy water but that isn't enough! What else can/should I do to protect our fruit crop and fruit trees from these critters?

Clackamas County Oregon brown marmorated stinkbugs

1 Response

Hello,

It seems you have just a few trees, so I would suggest a cultural management tactic: exclusion. If you are willing to put in the effort, you can either cage whole trees or individual fruit. The fruit "footies" can work well for this: http://www.homeorchardsociety.org/growfruit/trees/nylon-footies-excellent-insect-barrier/

Note that BMSB have some reach with their mouthparts (about 1cm) and they can feed on the fruit any where the mesh touches the fruit.

The effective chemistries for BMSB are pyrethroids and you need repeated applications to achieve season-long control. This will cause mites and aphids to flare up because pyrethroids are broad-spectrum and you will kill your natural enemies.

Surround, an organic OMRI-approved kaolin clay product, can be sprayed on trees and has a deterrent effect on BMSB. Repeated applications will be needed to maintain adequate coverage for it to deter bugs. Oh, and your trees will be white!