The Return of the Unwanted House Guest: Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

It’s the time of year when my email is flooded with reports of brown marmorated stink bugs. Yep, it’s a sure sign fall is upon us.

As the growing season winds down, the temperatures begin to cool, and the days get shorter, several insects take to hanging out on the sides of houses, garages, and window sills. While they may appear to be warming themselves in the sun, these wily little creatures are most likely scoping out a nice place to spend the winter months. The days of boxelder bugs and multicolored Asian ladybeetles are not over, but there is a new house guest in several parts of the state.

The brown marmorated stink bug has been present in Illinois for quite some time (feel free to use the search engine on the Hone, Yard, and Garden Newsletter site to read more about them), but in recent years they are becoming much more noticeable in several areas of the state and a real nuisance as well.

A great resource for homeowners is a publication from Cornell University. It’s important to remember that it is geared towards homeowners in the east. While these management strategies are applicable in Illinois, the situations requiring treatment the landscape outside the home decrease the number of BMSB home invaders has been quite small.  The Unwelcome House Guest: Brown Marmorated Stink Bug–A Guide for Residents, Property Managers, and Pest Management Professionals

Currently, the known distribution of this insect in Illinois is limited. Homeowners are our primary source of information during the fall and spring. We are very interested in where these insects may be and continue to try to determine where they are in Illinois.

If you believe you have BMSB, we would be very interested in looking at it. Suspect stink bugs may be sent to Kelly Estes, 1816 S. Oak St., Champaign, IL 61820. Please put stink bugs in a crush-proof container (pill bottle, check box, etc). You can also send a photo to kcook8@illinois.edu for preliminary screening if you wish.

Illinois Invasive Species Symposium presentations available online

Recordings of the presentations from the 2015 Illinois Invasive Species Symposium are now available online on the symposium webpage –

http://www.invasive.org/illinois/2015InvasiveSpeciesSymposium.html

The all-day symposium featured 11 presentations on a wide range of invasive species topics and included the Illinois Invasive Species Awards Ceremony. (See the full agenda at http://www.invasive.org/illinois/2015_IllinoisInvasiveSpeciesSymposiumagenda.pdf)

Over 100 people attended the symposium in person and over 50 signed onto watch the live webcast.  A direct link to the recordings – http://www.invasive.org/illinois/presentations.html.

Midwest Invasive Plant Network Landscape Alternative APP

Do you get questions about which ornamental plant is considered invasive and what alternative plant options are?  If so MIPN has created a great resource for you. We call it the Landscape Alternatives brochure. Within the brochure are known invasive plants sold in the ornamental trade industry with alternative species (native and non-native) provided.

This resource has actually been available for several years, and is also available as a mobile App for android and apple products. Recently we have updated this Application to include four additional invasive species (English ivy, Chinese silvergrass (Miscanthus sinensis), porcelainberry, and callery pear) along with 36 recommended alternatives to these species.

To download the App please click on this link here!

The brochure can be purchased from the MIPN website www.mipn.org

Please share this FREE resource to other individuals to limit the purchase (and spread) of invasive plants throughout the midwestern United States!

Mark Renz (President MIPN)

Registration open for Illinois Invasive Species Symposium

Join us for the second annual Illinois Invasive Species Awareness Month (ISAM) Symposium at the University of Illinois Extension office, in Champaign, IL on Thursday, May 28th from 9:30 am to 4 pm. It will be a great opportunity to learn more about what is happening on the invasive species front throughout Illinois.  The event will feature talks about invasive species ranging from snake fungal disease and white-nose syndrome in bats to aquatic invasive plants.  For more information see the attached announcement.  The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required (see below for details).  Please forward to this anyone that might be interested.

ISAM Illinois Invasive Species Symposium
May 28, 2015
University of Illinois Extension Office
801 N Country Fair Drive
Champaign, IL 61821 (Champaign County)

The Illinois Invasive Species Symposium is a one-day, all-taxa symposium that features talks on current and emerging issues surrounding invasive plants, diseases, insects, and animals in Illinois. Featured as the culmination of the 2015 Illinois Invasive Species Awareness Month, the event also includes the ceremony for this year’s Invasive Species Awareness Month Awards.

REGISTRATION

This event is free to the public, but space is limited. Registration is preferred. Save your seat at: http://web.extension.illinois.edu/units/event.cfm?UnitID=480&EventID=68615

DIRECTIONS

Detailed directions can be found on the University of Illinois Unit 13 website: http://web.extension.illinois.edu/cfiv/findus.html

Agenda

Stitlgrass range expansion – now found in Iowa

from the Illinois Invasive Species Awareness Blog…

Last fall, an infestation of Japanese stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum) was found in Johnson County Iowa.  This represents that first time this species has been found in that state and the furthest Northwest it has been found.

Even though stiltgrass is an annual plant that ‘comes on’ primarily in the summer, it can still be identified this time of year by the thatch…

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Asian wasp, enemy of stink bugs, found in the United States

One of the recovered Beltsville specimens of Trissolcus japonicus emerges from a BMSB egg. Source: Elijah Talamas, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Systematic Entomology Laboratory

The Asian wasp Trissolcus japonicus has been found in the wild in the United States. The wasp, native to the regions of Asia where the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) originates, is known to attack the eggs of BMSB and possibly other stink bugs. The wasp doesn’t sting or otherwise harm humans, but scientists are working to determine how it might affect stink bugs of all kinds. Kim Hoelmer, an entomologist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service, wrote:

“A survey of resident egg parasitoids of the brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys, conducted during the summer of 2014 by Don Weber (ARS-Beltsville Area Research Center, or BARC) using sentinel stink bug egg masses revealed that an Asian egg parasitoid of BMSB, Trissolcus japonicus, was present in the wild at one of his study sites at BARC in Beltsville, Maryland. The specimens were identified by Dr. Elijah Talamas (ARS, Systematic Entomology Laboratory, or SEL), a specialist on this group of parasitoids. We have complete confidence in his identifications. The identification was confirmed by Dr. Matt Buffington (also ARS-SEL) using genomic DNA. The ‘barcode’ regions COI and ITS2 of the BARC specimens were consistent with those of Asian populations of T. japonicus obtained from ARS and CABI-Bioscience field collections in Asia and analyzed by Dr. M.C. Bon at the ARS European Biological Control Laboratory…(more)

The 12 Worst Invasives in the United States

 February 23 (Washington Post)
 

For some animals, there’s no such thing as a dog-eat-dog world. They rule.
Animals from around the world that stow away in airplanes, ships and the luggage of some smuggler become almost bulletproof when they make their way into the American wilderness as invasive species. Why? They’re new here, and they don’t have predators to keep them in check. Animals that should be afraid of a vicious predator aren’t. Invasive species eat like kings.

Living high on the hog, these marauders aren’t going anywhere. Unlike many native animals that are disappearing from North America — vaquita porpoisesmonarch butterflies, bottlenose dolphin and such — invasive species are growing faster than wildlife and game officials can manage them. In many cases, authorities have given up any hope of eradicating them.
Here are 12 of the most destructive invasive plants and animals in the United States, a dirty dozen. If it’s on this list, there’s a good chance that a government official in an office somewhere is trying to think of ways to kill it.

Burmese pythons

These long, lean eating machines are terrorizing the Florida Everglades. Humans don’t have much to fear, but native animals had better watch their backs. Alligators are being knocked off their perch as the swamp’s top predator. People ask why these snakes are such a problem. Why can’t experienced hunters walk into the Everglades and kill them? Burmese pythons from Southeast Asia are so stealthy that even experts with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission have a tough time spotting them, let alone killing them. Since they were determined to be established and put the squeeze on the swamp in 2002, deer, raccoon, marsh rabbits, bobcats and possum have declined by as much as 99 percent in some cases, according to researchers for the U.S. Geological Survey.

Emerald ash borer

This bug’s march across the Midwest is not the kind of green movement that conserves nature. It ruins ash trees that provide durable wood used for flooring, bowling alleys, church pews, baseball bats and electric guitars. The bugs sparkle like a jewel with their glittery hide, but the nickel-sized holes they bore into trees are ugly, and the squiggly trails their larvae etch on the bark can make your skin crawl. They arrived in southeastern Michigan in 2002 from their native habitats in Russia, China and Japan. Since then, tens of millions of ash trees have been killed, and their numbers continue to grow.

…more

White-Nose Syndrome Found in Four Additional Illinois Counties

Disease That Has Killed Millions of Bats in North America Confirmed For First Time in Union, Saline, Johnson and Jackson Counties

SPRINGFIELD, IL – White-nose syndrome, a fungal disease that has killed millions of bats in North America, has been found in four new Illinois counties.  Tests conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wisconsin found five bats submitted from Union, Saline, Johnson, and Jackson Counties were positive for the disease.  These are the first confirmed records in these counties.  The disease was first discovered in Illinois in 2013 in Hardin, LaSalle, Monroe and Pope Counties.

White-nose syndrome (WNS) is not known to affect people, pets, or livestock, but is harmful or lethal to hibernating bats, killing 90 percent or more of some species of bats in caves where the fungus has persisted for a year or longer, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

WNS is known to be transmitted primarily from bat to bat, but spores of Pseudogymnoascus destructans, the non-native fungus that causes white-nose syndrome, may be unintentionally carried between caves and abandoned mines by people on their clothing, footwear, and caving gear. The name of the disease refers to the white fungal growth often found on the noses of infected bats.  To protect hibernating bats, including threatened and endangered species, all Illinois Department of Natural Resources-owned or managed caves have been closed to the public since 2010. In addition, all caves within the Shawnee National Forest, managed by the U.S. Forest Service, have been formally closed since 2009…(more)