The brown marmorated stink bug Halyomorpha halys (Stål) is a serious pest of many horticultural crops in the United States, and organic growers, in particular, have very few effective control options. We evaluated the efficacy of two commercially available natural products, kaolin and essential oils (rosemary oil and peppermint oil), to reduce H. halys feeding on tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) and pepper (Capsicum anuum L.). Laboratory choice tests were conducted assessing stink bug occurrence on a cherry tomato fruit placed atop a freshly picked Paulownia tomentosa (Thunberg) Steudel leaf that was treated with either kaolin or essential oils compared to an untreated control of the same food within the same cage. Significantly fewer H. halys nymphs and adults occurred on kaolin-treated fruit and leaves than an untreated control, whereas there was no significant difference between the essential oils and the control. In a field experiment, kaolin applications to peppers resulted in significantly less stink bug-injured fruit than the untreated control in all harvests. In one of two harvests in 2014 and in one of the three harvests in 2015, the essential oil treatment reduced the percentage of stink bug-injured fruit versus the untreated control. Natural repellents or deterrents such as kaolin have a great potential for reducing H. halys feeding in horticultural crops and may provide a management option in organic production systems.
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