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Stink bugs in Wisconsin – Audio

P.J. Liesch, Extension entomologist, Insect Diagnostic Lab
Department of Entomology
UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
(608) 262-6510

Stink bugs in Wisconsin

2:56 – Total Time
0:20 – What the bug is
0:49 – How to identify
1:50 – Threats
2:27 – For more information
2:46 – Lead out

Sevie Kenyon: Keeping your nose peeled for the new invasive stink bug, we’re visiting today with P.J. Liesch insect diagnostic lab Department of Entomology, University of Wisconsin – Madison/Extension in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and I’m Sevie Kenyon. P.J., introduce us to the stink bug.

P.J. Liesch: There’s a relatively new invasive species of stink bug that first showed up in the state in 2010 and the last few years has been fairly quiet. I would maybe get 3, 4, 5, reports each year. In 2015 and 2016 though we started getting a lot of reports and sightings in a few spots in the state, Madison area, Waukesha and Milwaukee area, and then the fox river valley, Oshkosh up to Green Bay.

Sevie Kenyon: P.J., what does a stink bug look like and what does it do?

P.J. Liesch: So, the stink bug is about half an inch long and it is noticeably larger than many of our native stink bugs it’s also got two pale bands on the antennae which help for identification and along the back end of the insect, along the edge of the abdomen it’s got a checkerboard like pattern which can help with the identification as well. And stink bugs in general are plant feeders and so this particular species, the brown marmorated stink bug, can feed on hundreds of different types of plants. It also likes to sneak into homes late in the season just like the box elder bug or Asian lady beetle.

Sevie Kenyon: You mentioned earlier, stink bugs getting into the house, how common is that?

P.J. Liesch: In the last year or so we probably had getting close to a hundred reports in the state mostly in the Dane county area, but a few of the other areas I mentioned earlier. Unfortunately, what we are seeing with these insects it’s probably only going to become more common over time.

Sevie Kenyon: P.J., what do people do about the stink bug?

P.J. Liesch: Now the ultimate solution would be if you look at your home and find all the nooks and crannies where it sneaks in. If you can do your best to seal those up with caulk or expanding insulation foam and physically seal things up, then the insect can’t get in. Once they have snuck into a home we’ve lost the battle, but we haven’t lost the war. It’s not worth spraying an insecticide inside your home for these, so it’s best just to either sweep them up, catch them in a container and discard them, or take the hose attachment on your vacuum cleaner and suck them up.

Sevie Kenyon: Is there someplace people can go for more information?

P.J. Liesch: Probably one of the best things at this point would just be to log onto your search engine and search for brown marmorated stink bug, UW Extension has a fact sheet out there with additional information and there’s a number of regional and state websites out there describing more of this insect’s biology and implications.

Sevie Kenyon: We’ve been visiting with P.J. Liesch Department of Entomology, insect diagnostic lab, University of Wisconsin – Madison/Extension in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and I’m Sevie Kenyon.