Is there really any good time to use Sevin for StinkBugs?

anney(Georgia 8)July 4, 2006

Last week I purchased a small container of Sevin after being so frustrated by the number of stinkbugs on my melon plants, every morning and evening. I had to remove one of the plants that was wilting and I think the SBs were the culprits. For weeks I've been trying to control them by hand. I take two cups out, one with detergent and water, the other empty, and when I can, clamp the two cups together over them (with a leaf or stem between the two cups) and give them a shake to make the SBs fall into the detergent. But the danged things fly away now when they see me coming.

I can't tell you how reluctant I am to use the Sevin because it's poisonous to bees, and I also have lots of bees around the blossoms. I've read that the safest time to use Sevin is at dusk when the bees have gone back home, but, if it isn't washed off, why wouldn't it be just as poisonous the next morning when the bees return?

So right now that poison is just sitting there. What would you do?

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anney(Georgia 8)

Sorry, there's no forum for veggie pests and diseases, so I posted this here. Oddly, the stink bugs don't bother my tomato plants which are only 6 feet away from the melons. But maybe the principle's the same, no matter what plant stink bugs infest

    Bookmark   July 4, 2006 at 11:11AM
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treelover(z8b SoCtrlTX)

anney: You could post your question at the pests & diseases forum--link below.

Mrs H suggested using a hand vac on the bugs I'm finding on my tomatoes. That might be worth trying before resorting to Sevin. If you have close neighbors, you may want to explain that you haven't suddenly gone over the edge! ;) Good luck. -- Carol

Here is a link that might be useful: Pests and Diseases Forum

    Bookmark   July 4, 2006 at 12:03PM
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Stink Bugs are my Worst Pest for tomatoes here in Va as they'll screw up the fruits with hard blotches from where they puncture & suck. I use the new product from Bayer which contains pryrethrin (sp?). I used to dust with rotenone or rarely sevin if the problem is really bad. The stink bugs will multiply and soon most of the tomatoes are scarred, damaged, and not too appealing. These "dusts" will also protect the plants from the tomato fruit worms. I don't worry too much about the bees since I rarely if ever see any pollinators on the tomatoes (I shake my plants to encourage self-pollination), and never see any honey bees at all. Dusting at dusk is the best time to avoid any pollinators and when I dust I Don't cover the entire plant but only the fruits themselves.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2006 at 7:49AM
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torquill(z9/sunset15 CA)

That's a tough one... I've never known a really good solution to stinkbugs, and my reservations about Sevin are about the same as yours. If it's any help, doing the dusting at dusk will prevent it from getting into the flowers, where the bees are going to largely be; the new flowers stay closed until early morning, and wilt in the afternoon. Unless the bees bumble around in the leaves quite a bit, they're unlikely to get exposed to the dust.

Wilting vines probably aren't stinkbug-related, but solutions to squash bugs (which carry bacterial wilt) and squash vine borers (which do what the name suggests) are just as difficult. I don't know what to tell you.


    Bookmark   July 8, 2006 at 3:01AM
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anney(Georgia 8)


I'm still murdering stinkbugs catching them between two cups and shaking them into the detergent solution in the bottom one. I kill at least 15-16 twice a day this way.

The only solution I think has much hope doesn't kill them but hopefully attracts them away from the melons -- someone suggested planting ornamental millet as a "trap crop" and said that the plant is usually covered with besotted stinkbugs. Since butterflies also love the millet, I wouldn't spray it but I guess you could hope the stinkbugs would hang out there rather than on the melon plants.

I've put the Sevin to another use by mixing it in a cucumber peel tea and placing it in small cups under my melon plants. It attracts and kills cucumber beetles only, at least some of them since I find them floating in it every morning. I wish I knew of something that would attract only stinkbugs and no harmless insects -- I'd make a delicious poison tea for them, too!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2006 at 9:49AM
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anney(Georgia 8)

Looking for stink bug traps leads one to some fascinating information about these critters. One reason pheromone attractants don't really work very well is that though they're produced by males to attract females, this alone isn't enough to lure a stinkbug into a trap. They also need a vibrational song that is then transmitted through the plant tissue to help the stinkbugs find each other!

How strange nature is. PDF report on Red-Shouldered Stink Bugs, and this excerpt:

Substrate-borne vibrational signals. It has been known for some time that stink bugs produce substrate-borne vibrational signals for communication at short range... These signals are generated with a tymbal organ that stretches across the dorsal surface under the elytra. The vibrations are transmitted into the plant stem through the insectÂs legs, and are propagated along the plant as bending waves. The signals are detected by vibration sensors in the legs of the receiving insect. Both males and females appear to produce several different vibrational songs. To locate each other once on the same plant, males and females produce a duet of calling songs, with one or both insects following the signals to their sources. Once at close range or having contacted each other, the insects may begin producing courtship songs. There is virtually no airborne sound associated with these signals, and their primary transmission medium is clearly the plant substrate. Because these signals are transmitted through the plant, they may be less prone to eavesdropping by parasitoids and predators than a more widely dispersed airborne acoustic signal.

Insects may be attracted to the vicinity of a trap by the pheromone, but if the shorter-range vibrational signals are not present, the insects may not move into the trap towards the pheromone source. This may explain observations by several researchers of bugs clustered in the vicinity of pheromone traps, but with few bugs actually in the traps...

    Bookmark   July 8, 2006 at 11:30AM
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