The brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys (Stål), feeds on a variety of fruits and vegetables, and is an economically important invasive hemipteran pest. Trap cropping of H. halys was examined at the Pennsylvania State University Southeast Agriculture Research and Extension Center (SEAREC) in Lancaster Co., PA, from 2012 to 2013, with sunflowers used as a trap crop to protect bell pepper. H. halys were observed frequently on sunflowers planted surrounding the pepper field, and in both years of this experiment significantly more H. halys were observed in sunflowers than peppers. Both adults and nymphs were observed with equal frequency, with higher numbers of both observed in September. A 2:1 ratio of females to males was observed throughout both years. While sunflowers were attractive to H. halys, no difference in fruit damage was observed in peppers surrounded by the sunflower trap crop versus those peppers surrounded by peppers. While sunflowers present an interesting potential trap crop for H. halys, future research is needed to clarify the feasibility of this crop protection technique.
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Vol. 44 • No. 6