The Red Banded Stink Bug: Invasive but here to stay

Introduction

Stink bugs are pests of a wide variety of plants including vegetables, fruits, and ornamentals. Stink bugs use their piercing sucking mouthparts to siphon out nutrients from plants. The red banded stink bug (Piezodorus guildinii) is a Neotropical bug that feeds primarily on legumes including some important crops like soybean, alfalfa, peas, and lentils. It wasn’t until the early 2000’s that the red banded stink bug was cited as a pest in the U.S. This pest was likely introduced from Central or South America during the 1970’s. Today, the red banded stink bug is now an frequent pest of soybean fields throughout the southeastern United States.

Photo credit: Morgan Pinkerton, University of Florida

Damage

The red banded stink bug sucks out nutrients from a plant often leaving behind chlorotic or white patches on fruiting bodies or leaves. These white patches make it harder for the plant to photosynthesize resulting in slow growth, wilting, or even death of the plant in severe cases. In soybean, red banded stink bug feeding leads to unmarketable and shriveled seeds.

Photo credit: Ric Bessin, University of Kentucky

Similar Species

Please see the Lookalike Guide for Green Stink Bugs for more information for distinguishing similar looking stink bug species in the U.S.

To learn more about the red banded stink bug read please visit the Featured Creature article.