Thresholds and Critical Growth Stages for Brown Stink Bug, Euschistus servus (Say), Management in Field Corn, Zea mays

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Virginia Tech


The brown stink bug, Euchistus servus (Say), is a polyphagous pest of multiple cultivated hosts in Virginia. It recently emerged as a potentially devastating pest of maize, Zea mays L. (Poaceae), in eastern Virginia where small grain (e.g., wheat, rye) production is common. In order to develop an integrated pest management (IPM) plan, research is needed to determine if brown stink bug feeding causes economic damage in maize at different growth stages and levels of infestations. Experiments were conducted in 2018 and 2019 to determine: 1) effectiveness of seed applied and in-furrow chemical control methods, 2) infestation levels in seedling and reproductive growth stages that cause economic damage, and 3) the effect, if any, of E. servus feeding on grain quality and mycotoxin contamination. Results of these experiments demonstrated that infestation levels (i.e., number of bugs divided by number of plants) of 11% and 15% in seedling and late vegetative maize, respectively, can cause measurable yield reduction at harvest. Seedling damage from E. servus is significantly mitigated by neonicotinoid seed treatments which are applied to nearly all commercial maize seed. Further, experiments indicated that maize quality can be affected by E. servus feeding in late reproductive stages of development. Results of these experiments will help to inform Virginia maize producers of the need to manage E. servus throughout the growing season.



Euschistus servus, Zea mays, Action Thresholds