Host Plants of the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug in the U.S.

BMSB adults feeding through the bark of an elm tree.
Brown marmorated stink bug adults feeding through the bark of an elm tree (Ulmus sp.) (photo: M. Raupp)

A publication of the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug IPM Working Group in conjunction with the Northeastern IPM Center

Contributing authors (in alphabetical order):
Erik Bergmann, Karen M. Bernhard, Gary Bernon, Matthew Bickerton, Stanton Gill, Chris Gonzales, George C. Hamilton, Chris Hedstrom, Katherine Kamminga, Carrie Koplinka-Loehr, Greg Krawczyk, Thomas P. Kuhar, Brian Kunkel, Jana Lee, Tracy C. Leskey, Holly Martinson, Anne L. Nielsen, Michael Raupp, Peter Shearer, Paula Shrewsbury, Jim Walgenbach, Joanne Whalen, and Nik Wiman

Since its initial discovery in eastern Pennsylvania in the mid-1990s, the invasive brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB, Halyomorpha halys [Heteroptera: Pentatomidae]) has become a conspicuous insect in residential areas and farms in the mid-Atlantic U.S. As part of several ongoing research projects, entomologists have been observing which plants this insect typically uses for food and reproduction in its new environment. BMSB is a tree-loving bug but has a very broad host plant range. We have observed it on hundreds of plant species in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.

In the spring, BMSB adults emerge from overwintering sites and become active during warm sunny days. During this time, adult bugs can be found on virtually any plant that exposes them to the sun. Trees, shrubs, and ornamental plants that are near BMSB overwintering shelters often serve as the best places to observe early bug activity. Tall plants and trees tend to have more bugs on them than plants lower to the ground. As adult bug activity increases throughout the month of May and as mating, egg laying, and nymphal development occurs throughout the summer, BMSB can be found on a wide range of plant species (Table 1). Plants bearing reproductive structures, such as fruiting bodies, buds, and pods, tend to have more bugs than plants without these parts. Furthermore, BMSB prefers certain species of plants more than others, often at particular times during the growing season. These plants, listed in boldface in Table 1, may provide the most suitable habitat and/or nutrition for BMSB. The list of host plants for this bug will undoubtedly grow as the pest spreads to new regions.

Table 1. Plants hosting BMSB adults and immature stages in the United States. Plant species in bold represent those with the highest densities of bugs in a given habitat.

Habitat* Genus Species Common Name Image
Orn. Abelia × grandiflora glossy abelia  
Agric. Abelmoschus esculentus okra  
Orn. Acer buergerianum trident maple Photo available
Orn. Acer circinatum vine maple  
Orn. Acer japonicum Amur (Japanese Downy) maple  
Orn. Acer macrophyllum bigleaf maple  
Orn. Acer × tegmentosum Manchurian snakebark maple  
Orn. Acer griseum paperbark maple  
Orn. Acer negundo boxelder  
Orn. Acer palmatum Japanese maple  
Orn. Acer platanoides Norway maple  
Orn. Acer × freemanii Freeman maple  
Orn. Acer rubrum red maple  
Orn./Wild Acer saccharum sugar maple  
Orn. Acer saccharinum silver maple  
Orn. Acer pensylvanicum striped maple  
Orn. Acer campestre hedge maple  
Orn. Aesculus × carnea red horse-chestnut  
Orn. Aesculus glabra Ohio buckeye  
Wild Ailanthus altissima tree of heaven  
Agric./Orn. Amaranthus caudatus love-lies-bleeding (amaranth)  
Orn. Amelanchier laevis (syn. × grandiflora) Allegheny (apple) serviceberry  
Agric./Orn. Antirrhinum majus garden snapdragon  
Wild Arctium minus lesser burdock  
Agric. Armoracia rusticana horseradish  
Wild Asimina triloba pawpaw  
Orn. Baptisia australis blue wild indigo  
Agric. Beta vulgaris ssp. cicla Swiss chard  
Orn./Wild Betula nigra river birch  
Orn. Betula papyrifera paper birch  
Orn. Betula pendula European white birch  
Agric. Brassica juncea wild mustard Photo available
Agric. Brassica oleracea cabbage, collards  
Orn. Buddleja spp. butterflybush  
Agric. Cannabis sativa hemp  
Agric. Capsicum annuum cayenne pepper  
Orn. Caragana arborescens Siberian peashrub  
Orn. Carpinus betulus European hornbeam  
Agric./Orn. Carya illinoinensis pecan  
Wild Carya ovata shagbark hickory  
Orn. Catalpa spp. catalpa Photo available
Orn. Celastrus orbiculatus Oriental bittersweet  
Orn. Celosia spp. cock’s comb  
Orn. Celtis koraiensis Korean hackberry  
Wild Celtis occidentalis common hackberry  
Orn. Cephalanthus occidentalis common buttonbush  
Orn. Cercidiphyllum japonicum katsura tree  
Orn./Wild Cercis canadensis eastern redbud  
Orn. Cercis canadensis var. texensis Texas redbud  
Wild Chenopodium berlandieri pitseed goosefoot  
Orn. Chionanthus retusus Chinese fringetree  
Orn. Chionanthus virginicus white fringetree  
Orn. Cladrastis kentukea (syn. lutea) Kentucky (American) yellowwood  
Orn. Cornus macrophylla (large-leaf) dogwood  
Orn. Cornus officinalis Asiatic (Japanese cornel) dogwood  
Orn. Cornus kousa kousa dogwood  
Orn./Wild Cornus florida flowering dogwood  
Orn. Cornus racemosa gray dogwood  
Orn. Cornus sericea redosier dogwood  
Orn. Cornus × Stellar series dogwood  
Agric. Corylus colurna filbert, hazelnut  
Orn. Crataegus laevigata smooth (English) hawthorn  
Wild Crataegus monogyna oneseed hawthorn  
Orn. Crataegus viridis green hawthorn  
Agric. Cucumis sativus garden cucumber  
Agric. Cucurbita pepo field pumpkin (summer squash)  
Orn. Diospyros kaki Japanese persimmon  
Orn./Wild Elaeagnus angustifolia Russian olive  
Wild Elaeagnus umbellata autumn olive  
Agric. Ficus carica edible fig  
Orn. Forsythia suspensa weeping forsythia  
Wild Fraxinus pennsylvanica green ash  
Wild Fraxinus americana white (American) ash  
Orn. Ginkgo biloba maidenhair tree (ginkgo)  
Orn. Gleditsia triacanthos var. inermis thornless common honeylocust  
Agric. Glycine max soybean  
Orn. Halesia tetraptera mountain (Carolina) silverbell  
Wild Hamamelis virginiana American witchhazel  
Wild Hamamelis japonica invasive witchhazel  
Agric. Helianthus spp. sunflower  
Orn. Heptacodium miconioides seven sons flower  
Orn. Hibiscus moscheutos crimsoneyed rosemallow  
Orn. Hibiscus syriacus rose of Sharon (hibiscus)  
Agric. Humulus lupulus common hop  
Orn. Ilex aquifolium English holly  
Wild Juglans nigra black walnut  
Orn. Juniperus virginiana eastern redcedar  
Orn. Koelreuteria paniculata goldenrain tree  
Orn. Lagerstroemia indica crapemyrtle  
Orn. Larix kaempferi (syn. leptolepis) Japanese larch  
Orn./Wild Ligustrum sinense Chinese privet  
Orn./Wild Ligustrum japonicum Japanese or wax-leaf privet Photo available
Orn. Liquidambar styraciflua sweetgum  
Wild Liriodendron tulipifera tuliptree  
Wild Lonicera spp. honeysuckle  
Wild Lonicera tatarica Tatarian honeysuckle  
Wild Lythrum salicaria purple loosestrife  
Orn. Magnolia stellata star magnolia  
Orn. Magnolia grandiflora southern magnolia  
Wild Mahonia aquifolium hollyleaved barberry (Oregon grape)  
Orn./Agric. Malus domestica apple  
Orn./Wild Malus × zumi crab apple  
Orn./Agric. Malus pumila (syn. domestica) paradise apple  
Orn. Malus sargentii Sargent’s crab apple  
Orn. Malus baccata Siberian crab apple  
Orn. Metasequoia glyptostroboides dawn redwood  
Wild Mimosa spp. sensitive plant (mimosa) Photo available
Wild Morus alba white mulberry  
Wild Musineon divaricatum leafy wildparsley  
Orn. Nyssa sylvatica blackgum (tupelo)  
Wild Paulownia tomentosa princesstree (paulownia)  
Orn. Phalaenopsis spp. moth orchid  
Agric. Phaseolus spp. bean  
Wild Photinia (syn. Aronia) spp. chokeberry  
Wild Phytolacca americana American pokeweed  
Orn. Pistacia chinensis Chinese pistache Photo available
Orn. Platanus occidentalis American sycamore  
Agric. Prunus armeniaca apricot  
Orn. Prunus avium sweet cherry  
Orn. Prunus cerasifera cherry plum  
Agric. Prunus dulcis almond Photo available
Orn./Agric. Prunus × incam cherry  
Orn. Prunus incisa Fuji cherry  
Orn. Prunus laurocerasus cherry laurel  
Agric. Prunus persica peach Photo available
Wild/Agric. Prunus serotina black cherry  
Orn. Prunus serrulata Japanese flowering cherry  
Orn. Prunus subhirtella winter-flowering (Higan) cherry  
Orn. Pseudocydonia sinensis Chinese-quince  
Orn. Pyracantha spp. firethorn  
Orn. Pyrus fauriei Korean sun pear  
Orn./Agric. Pyrus spp. pear  
Orn. Pyrus calleryana Callery (Bradford) pear  
Orn./Agric. Pyrus pyrifolia Chinese (Asian) pear  
Orn. Quercus robur English oak  
Orn. Quercus alba white oak  
Orn. Quercus rubra northern red oak  
Orn. Quercus coccinea scarlet oak  
Wild Rhamnus cathartica common buckthorn  
Orn./Wild Rhus typhina staghorn sumac Photo available
Wild Robinia pseudoacacia black locust  
Orn. Rosa canina dog (native) rose  
Wild Rosa multiflora multiflora rose  
Orn. Rosa rugosa rugosa rose  
Agric./Wild Rubus spp. raspberry, blackberry  
Agric. Rubus phoenicolasius wine raspberry (wineberry)  
Orn./Wild Salix spp. willow  
Wild Sassafras albidum sassafras  
Agric. Secale cereale cereal rye  
Agric. Solanum melongena eggplant  
Agric. Solanum lycopersicum garden tomato  
Orn. Sophora japonica Japanese pagoda tree  
Orn. Sorbus airia winterbeam  
Wild Sorbus americana American mountain ash  
Orn. Spiraea spp. spirea  
Orn. Stewartia pseudocamellia Japanese stewartia  
Orn. Stewartia koreana Korean stewartia  
Orn. Styrax japonicus Japanese snowbell  
Orn. Symphytum spp. comfrey  
Orn. Syringa pekinensis Peking (Chinese) tree lilac  
Orn. Tetradium (syn. Euodia) daniellii (syn. hupehensis) bee-bee tree (Korean euodia)  
Orn. Tilia americana American basswood  
Orn. Tilia tomentosa silver linden  
Orn. Tilia cordata littleleaf linden  
Wild Tsuga canadensis eastern hemlock  
Orn. Ulmus parvifolia Chinese elm Photo available
Orn. Ulmus americana American elm Photo available
Orn. Ulmus procera (syn. minor) English (smoothleaf) elm Photo available
Agric. Vaccinium corymbosum highbush blueberry  
Orn. Viburnum dilatatum linden arrowwood  
Orn. Viburnum prunifolium viburnum (blackhaw)  
Orn. Viburnum × burkwoodii viburnum  
Agric. Vitis vinifera wine grape  
Wild Vitis riparia riverbank wild grape  
Agric. Zea mays corn Photo available

* Orn. = ornamental/landscape; Agric. = agricultural crop; Wild = wild, woodland

Brown marmorated stink bug nymphs on corn in August, Roanoke, Virginia

Brown marmorated stink bug nymphs on corn in August, Roanoke, Virginia.

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Brown marmorated stink bug adult on peach in May, Kearneysville, West Virginia

Brown marmorated stink bug adult on peach in May, Kearneysville, West Virginia. Photo: T. Leskey.

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Mating pair of brown marmorated stink bug adults on mimosa in June, Salem, Virginia

Mating pair of brown marmorated stink bug adults on mimosa in June, Salem, Virginia.

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Brown marmorated stink bug eggs on catalpa

Brown marmorated stink bug eggs on catalpa. Photo: A. Acebes.

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Brown marmorated stink bug adults feeding through the bark of an elm tree

Brown marmorated stink bug adults feeding through the bark of an elm tree (Ulmus sp.). Photo: M. Raupp.

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Brown marmorated stink bugs congregate on Chinese pistache in Sacramento, California

Brown marmorated stink bugs congregate on Chinese pistache (Pistacia chinensis) in Sacramento, California. Photo: Baldo Villegas.

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Brown marmorated stink bugs on trident maple

Brown marmorated stink bugs on trident maple (Acer buergerianum). Photo: Chuck Ingels.

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Brown marmorated stink bugs on Ligustrum japonicum

Brown marmorated stink bugs on Ligustrum japonicum. Photo: Chuck Ingels.

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Brown marmorated stink bug on wild mustard

Brown marmorated stink bug on wild mustard (Brassica juncea var. Florida Broad Leaf). Photo: Anthony DiMeglio (Virginia Tech).

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Brown marmorated stink bug nymphs on the fruit of staghorn sumac

Brown marmorated stink bug nymphs on the fruit of staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina). Photo: Thomas P. Kuhar.

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First instar BMSB on almond tree

First instar BMSB on an almond tree (Prunus dulcis). Photo: Jhalendra Rijal (UC Cooperative Extension & Statewide IPM Program).

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