Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A garden (almost) without stink bugs


We're participating in a stink bug trap trial at the Derwood Demo Garden.  The first count of trapped bugs and bugs on two designated tomato plants took place earlier this week.  Total bugs: zero.

Now, we have seen some brown marmorated stink bugs in the garden.  A couple of weeks ago we drowned quite a few adults that had joined their friends the harlequin bugs on the mustard plants.  And this week I saw plenty of nymphs on the chard, of all places, sucking away and leaving brown marks on the stems.  But on the whole we have far fewer stink bugs than last year at this time, and there are none to speak of on tomatoes, peppers, blackberries or asparagus, all of which attracted the bugs in previous years.

This was our harvest on Tuesday:






You can pretty much tell from this harvest that we still have problems with squash bugs and/or borers (the last summer squash plant is dying) and with cucumber beetles, though some cukes are hanging on.  Beans are still pumping out, peppers are coming in nicely, chard is still doing well; we had a couple of melons and some butternut squash; and look at all the tomatoes!  (We still pick them before full ripeness because we can't count on getting there in between workdays, and because Manna Food won't take fully ripe tomatoes for fear they'll squish.  But we may not have to pick early because of stink bugs.)

I think all we can say at this point about the dread BMSBs is "we'll see."  But even if they arrive in the hundreds later, at least we'll have had a garden without them.

Bonus: assassin bug eating a stink bug, photo by Darlene Nicholson.

Mm, dinner!

How's the stink bug population in your garden?

6 comments:

  1. No stink bugs here in Alexandria. I have been using neem oil on the cukes off and on and so far, they are doing well without seeing any borers or beetles.
    Ray

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    Replies
    1. Hurray! Hope your garden continues productive.

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  2. To date, no stink bug here in the garden too but I don't cry victory. Normally, they show up on the apple trees at the beginning of August.

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  3. Erica,

    I too am participating in the BMSB study as a control. I have BMSBs in the garden, mostly on peppers, eggplants and raspberries. None on the tomatoes yet.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Kent - still none on the tomatoes here either. Some on beans and asparagus this week. Haven't seen any on peppers or eggplant. Japanese beetles are a worse problem than BMSBs this year.

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