stink bugs on citrus indoors

anne33kbMarch 22, 2014

Can anyone tell me what kind of damage stink bugs do to citrus? I've read that they damage all kinds of fruit trees etc. outside but I'm dealing with the new stink bugs that like to overwinter indoors. I had a small improved Meyer lemon in my kitchen and kept finding stink bugs on it-especially the fruit which developed grayish spots on them. The tree also showed some scale just beginning which I treated with Rosemary oil, and then found a stinkbug on the underside of a leaf that had beginning scale and all the scale disappeared-not sure if the stink bug had anything to do with that or not. Some stink bugs will eat other insects but nothing says these do. Now I've found some stink bugs in my greenhouse on my big Meyer lemon and on the one and only fruit on my Buddha's Hand. I kill every stink bug I see but worry about those I don't see. So- any suggestions on getting rid of them or what damage they do to new unripe lemons or blooms of lemons.??

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citrusweekendwarrior

I wouldlike to 2nd this post! These stink bugs are most frustrating. They showed up for the first time in my area last summer.

I just looked up this up.
http://ento.psu.edu/extension/factsheets/brown-marmorated-stink-bug

The above link tells of what the bugs may do to your plants. But doesn't have anything on how to get rid of them. Last summer I had them pretty bad in my house. But didn't notice them too much in my garden. But then again, I didn't learn that these bugs would eat your plants and crops until after fall. So i may have not paid them much mind when playing in the dirt.

I wonder if there is af plant that they don't like and may keeps them at bay.

This post was edited by CitrusWeekendWarrior on Sat, Mar 22, 14 at 19:45

    Bookmark   March 22, 2014 at 7:44PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

They're dormant during the winter -- don't feed or breed then.

Please post a picture of the damage so that we can see what it is and, perhaps, help you diagnose what's going on.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2014 at 1:37AM
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anne33kb

Jean,, Maybe you haven't yet been invaded by the brown marmorated stink bugs. They are different from our native stink bugs which rarely ever made it into our houses. The BM stink bug, an Asian import, was first discovered in PA and has spread to surrounding states. They move into our homes for the winter (hopefully just winter) and are the worst pests I can think of. Last year was the first year I had them here in NC and there are more this winter. The extension services are mostly concerned with damage they do to cash crops outside-I am concerned with them living inside. I am pretty sure they do eat during their stay in the house. One day I was preparing lemons and star fruit on the kitchen counter and suddenly there were 3 stinkbugs on the counter zeroing in on my fruit-they weren't heading for the light-they meant to eat my cut up fruit! Also, up until this year I had the Asian ladybugs in the house during the winter-this year there aren't any-not sure if they just couldn't take the stink bug odor or if the stink bugs eat them. I'd rather have lady bugs or even roaches than these BM stink bugs in my house and I fear they are just going to get worse as they have around PA.
I wish I could send you a photo of the lemons but I can't.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2014 at 9:02AM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Yes, we have been invaded. But not to the extent that you folks have,

They don't eat their way into the house.

Instead, in the fall, when they are searching for a snug overwintering site, they enter cracks and crevices to get into the wall void. Then some will detect the heat gradient leading to your living spaces and will follow that.

At this time, universities are evaluating several potential natural enemies among insects. but none are available as yet. Even so, hope springs eternal that some native beneficial insects will help limit them.

They don't feed or breed during the winter.

Check the link (below) for more info from Rutgers:

Here is a link that might be useful: BMSB

    Bookmark   March 23, 2014 at 3:34PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

And links from NCSU (below)

Here is a link that might be useful: NCSU

    Bookmark   March 23, 2014 at 3:36PM
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anne33kb

I have read all the different state web sites on BMSBs and other sites including the garden forum sites on the stink bugs which I noticed you were also very involved. Jean, are you an entomologist studying these pests? You seem to be far more sure than those of us who have actual homeowner experiences or the people writing the state web sites.
From what I have read the scientists are still learning about the BMSB and are more concerned about learning more about controlling them on crops, I am also participating in a NC study by NC Ext. as they try to learn more about their habits. I don't know for sure if they "feed or breed" but they aren't dormant in houses all winter hiding in cracks and crevices. They come out and fly and crawl around mostly looking for light. Could you consider that possibly when they are out roaming around they may get hungry and look for something to eat when the house they are in has plants and fruits they are known to eat? Do you think that they just might think since the temp in houses is warm that their dormancy is over? At this point the only ones who really know what they are doing in our houses during winter are the BMSBs and they aren't talking. And while I'm at it what is with the "they don't eat their way into houses"?? I was/am hoping to hear from some East coast folks who have endured stink bugs inside their houses in winter. Their experiences are more valuable to me.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2014 at 4:44PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

See http://www.stopbmsb.org/where-is-bmsb/

Here is a link that might be useful: Stop BMSB

    Bookmark   March 24, 2014 at 12:54PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

(Management for stink bugs in homes( explains how they come indoors as well as how & when to block their entry.

Here is a link that might be useful: Management for stink bugs in homes

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 1:20AM
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anne33kb

Thanks Jean,
On one of those sites I saw leaves on corn that had the same markings as I found on my unripe lemons so I do think they were trying to eat the lemons as they came out of hibernation. No way to keep them out of a 100 year old house, though.
Anne

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 4:48PM
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