The invasive brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys (Stål) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae), is an important pest of field crops, fruit orchards, commercial vegetables, ornamental plants, and home vegetable gardens. Pheromone-baited traps designed to attract, trap, and kill H. halys are marketed for use in home gardens to reduce damage to plants. To test this assertion, we conducted the following experiment: One group of 15 gardeners placed stink bug traps at the end of a row of tomatoes, Solanum lycopersicum (L.), in their vegetable garden and another group of 14 placed no traps in their garden and served as controls. Gardeners with traps were no more or less likely to have H. halys on tomato plants than those without traps, but the abundance of H. halys on tomato fruits was marginally greater in gardens with traps. However, tomato fruits grown in gardens with traps sustained significantly more injury than tomato fruits grown in gardens without traps. Furthermore, tomato fruits on plants near the trap housed more H. halys than tomato fruits on plants at the end of a row away from the trap. Traps may be useful in identifying gardens where H. halys is likely to be found and ones in which stink bug injury to tomatoes is likely. We found no evidence that stink bug traps protected tomatoes from H. halys, and it appears that the addition of traps to gardens may increase injury to tomato fruits.
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Vol. 43 • No. 2