Natural Enemies

An adult Trissolcus basalis female attacks an egg mass of the stink bug species Nezara viridula, similar in appearance to the eggs of brown marmorated stink bug.  Several related Trissolcus species attack BMSB in its native Asian range and in North America. Photo by M. Roche

The Challenge

Brown marmorated stink bug parasites or predators have the potential to provide landscape-scale control of this pest in the future. Natural enemies of stink bugs that are native to North America could potentially play a role in controlling BMSB. In addition, BMSB enemies that are native to Asia could be considered for potential release in the United States, once USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is convinced the imported species will not threaten other insects, like beneficial stink bugs.

Research Response

Researchers have identified a group of tiny parasitic wasps, Trissolcus, that is known to attack BMSB eggs. In addition, a naturally occurring fungus, Ophiocordyceps nutans, attacks BMSB in Japan, and other fungi have been shown to target BMSB in laboratory studies. Ultimately, a program of natural biological control could provide the safest, most effective, and economical approach to tackling BMSB.

Updates, Findings, and Related Resources

July 26, 2012 Native parasitoids hold promise in stink bug defense

Researchers teach workshop participants to recognize natural enemies of brown marmorated stink bug, part of the strategy to control the invasive insect.