Halyomorpha halys is an introduced stink bug species from Asia that is spreading throughout the Mid-Atlantic United States. It is native to South Korea, Japan, and eastern China, where it is an occasional pest of tree fruit, including apple and pear. Cage experiments with adults placed on apple and peach during critical plant growth stages demonstrate that it can cause damage to developing fruit during mid- and late season growth periods and that feeding occurs on all regions of the fruit. Feeding that occurred during pit hardening/mid-season and final swell periods were apparent as damage at harvest, whereas feeding at shuck split/petal fall in peaches and apples caused fruit abscission. Tree fruit at two commercial farms were sampled weekly in 2006–2007 to determine H. halys seasonality. Low densities of nymphs in apple suggest that it is an unsuitable developmental host. Both nymphs and adults were found on pear fruits with peak populations occurring in early July and mid-August, the time when pit hardening/mid-season and swell period damage occurs. At both farms, stink bug damage was greater than 25% damaged fruit per tree. We attribute this to H. halys because population densities were significantly higher than native pentatomids at both locations in both beat samples and blacklight trap captures. The data presented here documents the potential for H. halys to cause damage in orchards throughout the Mid-Atlantic United States and shows the need for development of appropriate control strategies.
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Vol. 102 • No. 3