Massive stink bug die off?

RobThomasFebruary 26, 2014

Article posted below. Sounds encouraging. We've had one of our coldest winters in decades. Hope these little pests froze solid.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cold kills 95% of stink bugs

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franktank232(z5 WI)

If that is the case, I shouldn't ever have to worry about them here... By next week we may close in on 50 days below 0F.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 8:04PM
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we will see, there was also deep snow cover throughout, and under the snow the ground is no colder than 25F. What outrages me is that it appears to be sure that we will still have standing snow on the ground in April, and freezing temps during the day until at least March 14. Normally, I plant my potatoes on April 1.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 8:17PM
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Easter is April 20, so Good Friday is the 18th. Around here that's supposedly the right time to plant spuds. So maybe you have a little wiggle room there.

(I'm intrigued by and curious about the use of the lunar calendar in timing horticultural activities- also very ignorant!)

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 9:07PM
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alan haigh

On the year BMS stinkbugs were a huge issue in orchards of W. Virginia and elsewhere the preceding winter there were huge populations in homes and sheds- to the point of resembling an Alfred Hitchcock movie.

Presumably this will be the best barometer to evaluate the risk the following season.

They've become common here in NY but not of adequate populations to be a problem in orchards, although 2 years back and especially last year a lot of people were complaining about high numbers in their homes.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 5:44AM
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Stinkbugs are not so much a problem here in Madison, but spotted wing drosophilia (SWD) is another matter. I hope the cold will drive them away, and keep the numbers down this summer. Otherwise, it will be difficult to grow raspberries here.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 1:14PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)


We have pretty deep snow cover here...Here are the current ground temps from the NWS:

So the frost is getting close to 5 feet deep here, with snow cover. I might not need to worry about Japanese Beetles this summer.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 1:41PM
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emorems0(PA - 6a)

We've had stink bugs in our house all winter long, even when outside temps dropped below 0, the problem is that they overwinter in attics, under siding, and inside walls where they are protected from outside temps. I have no doubt we'll be plagued by them again this summer. We had swarms last summer like something from a horror film and I'm certainly not going up in my attic for anything right now bc I'm sure we're hosting a healthy population up there! :(

I may not have an orchard, but they did ruin nearly all of my pears last year (I have 3 mature trees), they didn't seem to touch the apples though. Of course, I'm much closer than many others here to where they were accidentally introduced (eastern PA) and we're surrounded by woods and brush.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 2:45PM
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john222-gg(Mississippi 8a/8b)

have ya'll ever seen pictures of Alaska in the summer. The cold don't appear to kill there bugs. I know in south Mississippi the bugs seem to enjoy a winter holiday.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 8:41PM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)

I know a guy who grew apples in AK. He indicated the only pest problems they had were occasionally a few thrips.

But I think you're right in general. Most major pests can take close to the same temps as their host trees. Codling moth dies at -40F. Apples can take a little more cold, but that's getting close to their threshold.

It' will be interesting to see if SWD can survive this winter in the Midwest. My guess is that, unfortunately, it will.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 9:10AM
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Anything trying to overwinter here in the ground in southern Iowa will have a hard go of it. Soil is froze 3 to 4 ft down! Hope it takes down the ticks and chiggers too!

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 9:43AM
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Cold weather may reduce the populations but enough will survive to keep the population going. Life is all about surviving and reproducing and insects are the experts. Insects are likely the most adapted of all of the animals.

I live in Central Montana and we have had several nights of -25 F or colder but I know I will see box elder bugs come spring, hopefully sooner than later..

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 4:08PM
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We are on the northern edge of the Pierce's Disease range. I wonder if the cold this year was enough to push the Sharpshooters a little further south. At least enough to slow the advance for a few more years. Same for the fire ants and the armadillos.

As for Alaska, I lived there for five months when I did volunteer work for the Forest Service. About the only insects I ever saw were the blood-sucking no-see-ums. There's a reason insects have a certain range and why you don't see South American bugs in Canada.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 7:26PM
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alan haigh

I've never had BMS bother fruit trees in orchards I manage in NY, but after warm winters green stinkbugs can be a nightmare at some sites, including my own orchard. When I take down maples in the fall on my property they are sometimes in them.

I've recently read in Good Fruit Grower that on the West Coast BMS has been a significant agricultural problem almost entirely at sites near urban areas. They seemed to be suggesting that they flourish where humans provide structures for over-wintering. I'm surprised that cold weather would be a problem for them if that's the case.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 6:39AM
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