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Tracking the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug
Department of Horticulture entomologists Peter Shearer, Vaughn Walton, and Jeffery Miller are part of a collaborative team at OSU that includes faculty from the Department of Crop and Soil Science and the USDA's Agricultural Research Service dedicated to tracking the brown marmorated stink bug effect's on Oregon's agricultural production.
Working with a group of 11 institutions and more than 52 investigators based out of the Northeastern IPM (Integrated Pest Management) Center in New York and Pennsylvania, the OSU Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Project assists the national study by adding to the research efforts conducted across the United States.
The group recently rolled out a website dedicated to tracking BMSB sightings across Oregon. So far, sightings in Oregon are few, compared to the relative infestations in the Northeast and the eastern BMSB population explosion in 2010 that resulted in $40 million in damage to the mid-Atlantic apple industry.
However, some researchers believe it's just a matter of time before BMSB becomes an problem in Oregon, impacting its multi-million dollar agriculture industry. A pest with wide ranging tastes, BMSB feasts on tree fruits, wine grapes, hazelnuts and even ornamental plants.
The new Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Project site features Extension information about the pest organized by commodity, photos and videos to assist in identifying the insect, and a pocket guide designed to make it easy for growers to identify the stink bug in the field.
The group is asking for the public's help in identifying this pest across Oregon. Sightings can be submitted to OSU researchers to assist with tracking this possible threat.
Photos by Peter Shearer