Stink Bugs in Soybeans

Photo by: M. O. Way

Soybeans fields are blooming and setting pods. This means they are in the most susceptible stage for yield and quality losses from stink bugs.

We have been running through soybean fields and finding a few stink bugs. So far, we have yet to find stink bugs at threshold levels but all fields should be inspected weekly for stink bugs.

There are several species of stink bugs capable of causing yield loss including green, southern green, brown and red banded stink bugs. The most damaging stink bug we are finding is the red banded stink bug.

Adult red banded stink bugs are light green with a reddish band across the top of the junction between the thorax and abdomen. They are about 3/8 to 7/16 inch long and ¼ inch wide across the thorax, so they are smaller than southern green stink bugs and green stink bug adults. Older nymphs are green and somewhat flattened, with a pattern of red and black markings on the top of the abdomen. Source.

The red banded stink bug has a lower economic threshold of 16 red banded stink bugs per 100 sweeps or 1 per 2 feet of row. Other stink bugs can cause economic loss when 36 stink bugs per 100 sweeps are found or 1 per foot of row.

Red banded Stink Bug Damage (Photo by S. Biles)

Control of stink bugs can be achieved by using Acephate (1 lb/A) or pyrethroid insecticides. The red banded and brown stink bugs have shown tolerance to pyrethroids.

The Texas Soybean Board has funded a stink bug control project. I am looking for soybean fields with stink bugs. Let me know if you find a treatable population in you soybean field and I will spray an insecticide control trial.

More information on insect pests of soybeans in Texas can be found HERE.

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