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  • From: Scott Smith <>
  • To: North American Fruit Explorers <>
  • Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Stinkbugs Defeat Apple Bags
  • Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2011 22:42:01 -0400

Thats bad to hear bagging doesn't work. I had only minor problems last year
with stink bugs but am concerned my population has built up for this year. I
had good luck limiting the early stink bug damage on my peaches by spraying
with Surround - like the curculio they don't seem to like walking on it at
all. If I see more of them this year I plan on keeping up the Surround
coverage all summer instead of just in the spring.


On Mar 31, 2011, at 9:36 PM, Don Yellman wrote:

> 1. At the risk of stinkbug overload after previous coverage of this topic,
> there is one more feature of these insects that I think is worth
> mentioning. Unlike any other insect I have seen, the stinkbug is capable
> of penetrating the plastic sandwich bags that many of us use for protecting
> apples.
> 2. Apparently, the brown marmorated stinkbug has a feeding tube that is
> long and sharp enough to puncture plastic and continue on into the flesh of
> apples. The result is to alter and discolor the cells of the apple down to
> a depth of one-half inch or more below the skin. Damage is usually so
> extensive, that ripe apples are rendered practically useless for anything
> but cider. Certainly they would not be marketable, although the home
> grower can cut off much of the apple and still wind up with something to
> eat. The condition under the skin resembles what I have always (perhaps
> mistakenly) called corky spot. I have always believed this was caused by
> calcium deficiency, but it may have been stinkbugs all along.
> 3. Because the 2010 season was the first that I have noticed such an
> infestation of these insects (though they may have been present in smaller
> numbers before), and even though I knew they were present on the trees, I
> never saw one in an apple bag and was confident the bags would protect the
> apples just as they do from other insects. The stinkbug seems to be a
> warm-weather insect, and didn't really get going until August into
> September here. Earlier apple varieties like Yellow Transparent escaped
> damage completely, but the midseason and later apples were devastated. No
> problems were observed on peaches, plums or apricots, most of which are
> down before mid-August. The best and most beautiful of the apples, such as
> Goldrush, Fuji, Pink Lady, Ashmead's, Albemarle Pippin, Blushing Golden,
> etc. were practically ruined. Meanwhile, the stinkbugs were also attacking
> crops like tomatoes and peppers, leaving telltale areas of white cells
> beneath the skin. It seems that as soon as sugar begins to show up in a
> fruit or vegetable, and the weather is warm, the stinkbug is waiting.
> 4. I am preparing apple bags for this season now, but I am clearly going
> to have to take additional measures to keep this from happening again.
> Permethrin seems to knock down the stinkbug pretty well, although it seems
> hard to kill with other insecticides. I am prepared to spray the trees
> with bagged apples, but this strategy will work only if an insecticide has
> a residual effect on the stinkbug. I seem to recall that Alan had observed
> little residual effect in his efforts to control this insect. If he is
> right, as he frequently is, I really don't what I would do next. Until
> USDA or someone comes up with a solution to this infestation, I will be
> experimenting and looking for an insecticide that would give me some
> extended protection without having to spray 2-3 times a week.
> 5. We have watched stinkbugs emerge around the house, greenhouse, and even
> garage all winter long on sunny days, so they are certainly not gone. I
> don't understand their life cycle or reproductive habits well enough to
> know the signs of trouble for next season. Certainly, this stinkbug is
> different, and far more numerous and aggressive than others of this species
> that I have seen before.
> 6. As a hobby grower, this is not an issue that affects my livelihood, but
> I surely sympathize with the commercial growers that still survive in the
> MD/VA area and along the east coast. Not to mention Alan Haigh, whose
> business is fruit tree care.
> Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA
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