STINK BUGS (HEMIPTERA: PENTATOMIDAE) IN PEAR ORCHARDS: SPECIES COMPLEX, POPULATION DYNAMICS, DAMAGE POTENTIAL AND CONTROL STRATEGIES
Pentatomid stink bugs (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) include several species that occur in pear orchards where they cause feeding damage with their piercing-sucking mouthparts, resulting in deformed fruits. In the Belgian fruit growing area they used to be secondary pests, but over the last decade they have caused economically important losses, especially in organically managed orchards. During three consecutive years (2011-2013) an in-depth monitoring study was executed to elucidate the species complex and the population dynamics of stink bugs in Belgian pome fruit growing. The red-legged shieldbug (Pentatoma rufipes L.) was found to be the most represented. Other important but less frequently occurring species were the mottled shieldbug (Rhaphigaster nebulosi L.) and the common green shieldbug (Palomena prasina L.) The invasive exotic brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomporpha halys) was not found during these surveys. Population dynamics studies on P. rufipes revealed their univoltine life cycle, their overwintering in the orchard itself as second instar nymphs, and their presence within the orchard during the entire year. In addition, field trials were executed to test and compare the efficacy of several plant protection products applied at different timings during the season (before and/or after blossoming and after harvest). Interesting control efficacies were obtained for several compounds (including active ingredients compatible with organic production like spinosad and pyrethrum). The potential role of stink bugs in transmitting harmful organisms, like Erwinia amylovora, the causal agent of fire blight, was also investigated. Under controlled laboratory conditions the adult stages of P. rufipes and P. prasina were able to transmit E. amylovora to a small extent from artificially inoculated pears or pear slices to injured healthy pears or pear slices. Bacteria of fire blight survived on both adult stink bug species up to 66 h. In summary, the outcomes of our studies have generated valuable insights in the species complex, population dynamics, damage potential, and control strategies of stink bugs in commercial pear growing.
Beliën, T., Peusens, G., Schoofs, H. and Bylemans, D. (2015). STINK BUGS (HEMIPTERA: PENTATOMIDAE) IN PEAR ORCHARDS: SPECIES COMPLEX, POPULATION DYNAMICS, DAMAGE POTENTIAL AND CONTROL STRATEGIES. Acta Hortic. 1094, 415-420
pear, stink bugs, Pentatomidae, Pentatoma rufipes L., population dynamics, vector, Erwinia amylovora