Complaints of stink bugs on rise in region

The Nevada Department of Agriculture and University of Nevada Cooperative Extension offices have received numerous calls about the Say’s stink bug.

According to a news release:

People in Carson City, Douglas County, Smith Valley, the north valleys of Reno and Pershing County have expressed concern about the bug.

“The Say’s stink bug gets its name from an offensive odor released when disturbed,” said Jeff Knight, state entomologist at the Nevada Department of Agriculture. “It develops on a weed called tumble mustard in disturbed and burned areas. As these areas dry up, the immature insects will migrate to adjacent greener areas.”

Knight added that the insect usually does not feed on horticultural plants in yards and gardens. It prefers to feed on developing seeds and may occasionally feed on grain crops, fruits and potatoes.

“It may need to be controlled in these situations if numbers are high,” Knight said. “The stink bugs may be difficult to control once they become adults.”

Most over-the-counter products containing carbaryl or insecticidal soaps, registered for use in the yard, should control these insects, Knight said. For control in crop situations, the Pacific Northwest Insect Control handbook can be consulted. The handbook is at and is reviewed each year by Pacific Northwest entomologists. It contains up-to-date information on proper pesticide use.

As adults, the insects are good flyers and are highly attracted to lights. If high numbers are a nuisance around lights, changing the light to an amber or yellow color could reduce the problem.

This insect may have more than one generation per year in Nevada. Second generation numbers are usually much lower because of the lack of large areas of the preferred weedy plants.


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