New stink bug suspected in Illinois soybean fields
July 22, 2010
  • /Agricultural and Consumer Economics
  • /Animal Sciences
  • /Crop Sciences
Illinois soybean producers should be on alert for suspicious-looking stink bugs. A stink bug resembling the red-shouldered stink bug was observed south of Champaign, but the report could not be confirmed because the actual specimen was not available for physical examination.

However, Mike Gray, U of I Extension entomologist, warns producers to be vigilant in scouting fields and to report any stink bug species that resemble the red-shouldered, red-banded or brown-marmorated stink bugs.

For years, Illinois producers have seen green (Acrosternum hilare) and brown (Euschistus servus) stink bug species in fields. These bugs are attracted to soybean plants in the bloom to early pod-fill stages and use their piercing and sucking mouthparts to remove plant fluids.

"Because of their ability to damage tender plant tissues, especially developing seeds, they are capable of causing economic losses to soybean producers," Gray said. "The economic threshold of one bug per row foot during the pod-fill stage has been suggested."

Throughout the past several years, other stink bug species have become more numerous in soybean production areas in the southeastern United States. The red-banded stink bug has been observed in several states including Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee.

"The red-banded stink bug has caused significant management challenges, particularly in Louisiana where densities of the pest have reached economic levels," Gray said. "The suggested economic threshold for the red-banded stink bug is 24 insects per 100 sweeps as compared to 36 insects per 100 sweeps for the brown stink bug."

The brown-marmorated stink bug has been reported in Illinois and is considered a potential pest of some species of shade and fruit trees, vegetables, and legumes (including soybeans).

If you spot suspicious stink bugs, contact Kelly Estes, State Survey Coordinator with the Illinois Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey Program, at 217-333-1005 or e-mail

For more information, read The Bulletin online at

Digital photos available for three months at