The county Ag Commissioner is charged with the responsibility of managing
nuisance pests of agriculture and human health. Many of these pests are
introduced species that have become established despite our best pest
exclusion efforts. If available, programs are established to
distribute biological agents for troublesome pests.
Brown Marmorated Stink Bug
The Sutter County Agricultural Commissioner has detected a new pest in several Yuba City commercial
buildings. The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB), Halyomorpha halys, a species native to Asia was
introduced into the eastern United States in the mid-1990s. Within the last 15-years this stink bug
has established and spread itself throughout the Mid-Atlantic States and is now found in portions
of the Western U.S., including California. An adult is about the size of a dime.
BMSB can be a serious pest in fruit and vegetable crops in its immature and adult life stages.
Physical damage includes pitting and scarring, making the fruit unmarketable as a fresh product. Some
damage to fruit can even render the crop unusable for processed products. Parasitic wasps have been
collected from BMSB’s native habitat, but it may be some time before they are ready to be released
and used as a control measure.
In addition to plant damage, BMSB are a nuisance to people. When the weather turns cool, BMSB may
seek shelter inside homes and other buildings causing irritation to persons sensitive to insect
allergens. They do not bite people or pets, nor do they damage buildings. Management for homeowners
is to restrict entry into houses during the winter months.
Ag Commissioner Mark Quisenberry stated that for homeowners and businesses, exclusion is the best
defense. Patching small opening in outside walls will prevent the pest from entering indoor habitats.
If an infestation is detected, using a professional pest exterminator is the best option. The
pesticide vapors from so called bug-bombs do not penetrate the crevices stink bugs occupy and they
are highly flammable when used or stored near open flame. As for any pesticide, safety first; always
read and follow label directions!