With the season changing and evening temperatures dropping, there have been one or two visitors that have found their way indoors this fall. And we’ve seen a few wandering around on the outside of the house. It’s the Tree Stink Bug, Brochymena spp., sometimes called Bark or Rough Stink Bug. They’re all looking for a warm place to spend the winter months. Most will hibernate in leaf litter or under the bark of a tree but they can feel the warmth of our man-made shelter and are drawn to it.
These true bugs have spent the summer gorging on flora with their piercing mouthpiece and now they are looking for a good hibernation spot. The one pictured above had hibernated in leaf litter and I uncovered it while putting my garden to bed for the winter.
The Tree Stink Bug is very similar in appearance to a more dangerous stink bug, the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, Halyomorpha halys, that has swept into the USA after being accidentally introduced in the late 90’s. Two characteristics that can tell these two stink bugs apart are the toothed or ridged shoulders and the lack of white banding on the antennae on the Tree Stink Bug.
Most folks are aware of the invasion of the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug. In some areas of the country, the insects have invaded homes by the hundreds. And they are the cause of great damage to fruits and crops. Pesticides have limited effect on the insect and there is no natural enemy in our country. The insect has been spotted in one neighborhood in Portsmouth. UNH Cooperative Extension Specialist, Alan Eaton, and State Entomologist Piera Siegert ask to be notified if you spot the Brown Marmorated Stinkbug (BMSB) anywhere in New Hampshire. Check out the Wikipedia photo of the BMSB below. There is white banding on the antennae and there are no ridges on the shoulders.