Stink bugs in field corn

Recent reports of stink bugs feeding in the whorl of field corn have come to my attention. There was no word on what species of stink bug they were, or how extensive the damage is, but whichever stink bug it is, their piercing-sucking mouthparts can reach the growing tip of young corn plants. Insecticides labeled to control stink bugs in field corn are available and can be accessed from Virginia Tech’s Cooperative Extension Pest Management Guide for field crops. Disclosure, I don’t have any efficacy data on stink bug control in field corn. This is largely due to the sporadic nature of these pests over the years.This picture has changed with the recent invasion of the brown marmorated stink bug in Virginia. That said, I tend to lean toward FMC products Hero 15EC and Stallion 15EC, which combine two insecticides. Hero contains two pyrethroids: bifenthrin and zeta-cypermethrin and Stallion contains one pyrethriod and one organophosate: zeta-cypermethrin and chlorpyrifos. One note of caution, if you’re going to use either of these products, I recommend using the high rates, because brown marmorated stink bugs have the tendency to re-invade. Also, the next potential threat to field corn from brown marmorated, or other stink bugs, is when corn begins to enter the reproductive stage. Contact: Rod Youngman,, 540-231-9118 (office), 540-357-2558 (cell).

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