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marble bug

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We are accustomed to the idea that bedbugs are blood-sucking parasites that can live in our apartments and houses. However, there is another dangerous pest known as the marbled bug, which is a quarantine organism. This species of brown marmorated bug was brought to us from Southeast Asia around the 2000s and has become a serious threat to agriculture.

In this article we will tell you about the appearance of this dangerous quarantine pest, its food preferences, methods of reproduction and effective methods of combating it.

What does a brown marmorated bug look like?

The brown marmorated bug is a member of the stink bug family due to its characteristic body shape, which resembles a pentagonal shield. Its body has a multi-colored pattern, reminiscent of a marble pattern, which served as the basis for the name of this insect.

This type of bug originally lived in Southeast Asia, but later it was brought to America, from where it began to spread throughout Europe and Russia. This pest causes serious damage to agricultural crops.

What does the brown marmorated bug eat?

Unlike bed bugs, the brown marmorated bug is a fierce enemy of plants. Even a small larva of this pest can seriously damage crops.

The brown marmorated bug has a characteristic oral structure. The insect has a proboscis, with which it pierces the shell of plants and sucks out the juices from all their parts. This type of bug is capable of attacking leaves, flowers, fruits and berries. It does not choose a specific type of plant: the brown marmorated bug attacks almost all types of crops, including fruit trees and shrubs, berries, vegetables, nuts, grains, legumes and many others.

If there are not enough cultivated plants in the area inhabited by the brown marmorated bug, the insect successfully survives on weeds and also feeds on wild plants.

Brown marmorated bug: reproduction

After wintering and increasing average temperatures, brown marmorated bugs emerge from hibernation and actively feed for two weeks. Then the mating season begins, where the male begins courtship by releasing pheromones. Males and females exchange vibration signals to help them find each other. After this, a new development cycle begins.

Development cycle of brown marmorated bugs:

1. Egg: Females lay eggs in clusters of 25-30 on the underside of plant leaves. The eggs are cylindrical, up to 1,6 mm long, and change color from pale green to yellow. Reddish dots on the shell become visible as the eggs approach the next stage, the future eyes of the insect. The upper part of the egg is surrounded by small spines.

2. Nymphs: After 4-5 days, the nymphs emerge from the eggs and go through 5 moults and 5 stages of development, each lasting about 7 days. With each molt, the size and color of the nymph change.

3. Imago: After 5 nymph stages, after about 5 weeks, it develops into an adult insect (imago). After two weeks, brown marmorated bugs are ready to reproduce, starting a new cycle.

Over the course of her life, a female brown marmorated bug lays up to 500 eggs. Areas infested with these pests quickly become infested and numbers increase rapidly. Areas infested with bedbugs must be treated immediately to prevent crop loss.

Methods of spreading the brown marmorated bug

Nymphs of the quarantine pest do not have the ability to fly, since wings are formed only at the time of transformation into an adult insect (imago). All five nymph stages take place in the same area. Adults, on the contrary, have the ability to fly and can move at fairly high speeds. However, flying is not the only way brown marmorated pests can spread quickly.

The rapid spread of pests to new territories is carried out primarily by transport. Brown marmorated bugs can hide in trucks among fruits, vegetables and other agricultural produce.

Methods for controlling marbled bugs

The marmorated bug should be identified according to its life cycle and activity. In the summer, the pest is most active, and in the fall the wintering period begins. Knowing this cycle allows you to effectively combat it.

The brown marmorated bug causes serious damage to agriculture, destroying almost all plants in its path. Protecting gardens and plots from this pest requires special attention.

There are various methods to combat the marbled bug:

  • Mechanical method: When daylight hours shorten and temperatures drop, bedbugs look for places to overwinter, sometimes entering human homes. During this period, you can collect and destroy them manually. A vacuum cleaner can also be used to collect pests. However, this method is ineffective after the end of the wintering period, when the bugs leave the premises.
  • Chemical method: Application of various insecticides to infected areas. This method is effective in early spring, when bedbugs are still weak after wintering. One of the popular drugs is Karate Zeon. After dissolving 4 ml of the drug in 10 liters of water, the area is treated. To improve efficiency, re-treatment is recommended. When using chemicals, be sure to follow safety precautions and use personal protective equipment.
  • Biological method: Involves the spread of natural enemies of the marbled bug in the infected area.

  • Using traps: Traps are effective during the period of bedbug activity from mid-April to autumn. Pheromone and light traps have proven their effectiveness. Pheromone traps are a pyramid about a meter high. The pheromone bait and poison tape are located at the top of the pyramid. Light traps also work well. You can make them yourself by pouring a soap solution into a shallow baking tray and hanging a lamp above it.

If you notice a foul odor or small white eggs on the undersides of plant leaves, this may indicate the presence of marmorated stink bug in your area. Pest eradication should begin as early as possible. If independent methods of struggle do not bring results, it is recommended to seek help from specialists.

Watching out for the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

F.A.Q.

The marbled bug does not pose a direct threat to humans, since it does not bite, but it can cause significant trouble. This parasite causes serious damage to crops and can completely destroy the entire crop.

How to get rid of marbled bugs?

There are several methods for exterminating these harmful insects, and the method chosen depends on the time of year and the stage of development of the bug. Before the start of winter, bedbugs try to enter houses; they can be destroyed by closing all the loopholes, which will not allow them to survive in the cold. If the pest has already settled in the house, its individuals can be collected with a vacuum cleaner and then burned. In early spring, the area can be sprayed with various chemicals. In summer, you can install pheromone and light traps.

Who eats marbled bugs?

Marmorated bugs are food for many insects, spiders, small mammals and birds. Birds eat adults and larvae, and insects and rats feed on the eggs of the pest.

Why are there so many marbled bugs?

The problem is the high rate of reproduction of these pests, as well as their rapid spread to new territories. If pest control is not started in a timely manner, their number may increase significantly, which can lead to crop loss.

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