2020 shaping up to be a repeat of 2017 for redbanded stink bugs

red-banded stink bug
Redbanded stink bug

• By Angus Catchot, Whitney Crow, Don Cook and Jeff Gore •

We have been getting some questions about what to expect this upcoming season with redbanded stink bugs in soybean. While we have had a few freezes and cold snaps this winter, we do not believe we have had a cold enough winter to substantially impact overwintering RBSB populations in Mississippi.

Although it’s too early to know for sure, what we do know based on past experience is that the late-season build up of RBSB at the end of 2019 is very similar to what saw in 2016. The winter of 2019-2020 to date is very similar to what saw in 2016-2017.

As a result, we experienced extremely high numbers in 2017. We are currently set up to see a similar result this year based on past history with this pest; however, there is no guarantee with insects.

In Louisiana, they have been finding alive RBSB over the last couple months. In the next few weeks, we will begin to conduct our ditch bank surveys. These surveys will give some insight to what we can expect and how early we can expect it. We will keep you updated.

As you begin your planning for soybean planting, it is important to remember that early planting is the best defense for avoidance or RBSB. I realize this is highly weather dependent, but it makes a huge difference for RBSB as well as many other insect pests of soybeans.

Angus Catchot is an Extension entomologist; Whitney Crow and Don Cook are research entomologists; and Jeff Gore is a research and Extension entomologist. All are with Mississippi State University. You may reach Catchot at alc4@msstate.edu.

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