The invasive brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys (Stål), has caused severe economic losses in the United States and is also a major nuisance pest invading homes. In diverse woody plant nurseries, favored host plants may be attacked at different times of the season and in different locations in the field. Knowledge of factors influencing H. halys abundance and simple methods to predict where H. halys are found and cause damage are needed to develop effective management strategies. In this study, we examined H. halys abundance on plants in tree nurseries as a function of distance from field edges (edge and core samples) and documented the abundance in tree nurseries adjoining different habitat types (corn, soybean, residential areas, and production sod). We conducted timed counts for H. halys on 2,016 individual trees belonging to 146 unique woody plant cultivars at two commercial tree nurseries in Maryland. Across three years of sampling, we found that H. halys nymphs and adults were more abundant at field edges (0–5mfrom edges) than in the core of fields (15–20mfrom edges). Proximity of soybean fields was associated with high nymph and adult abundance. Results indicate that monitoring efforts and intervention tactics for this invasive pest could be restricted to field edges, especially those close to soybean fields. We show clearly that spatial factors, especially distance from edge, strongly influence H. halys abundance in nurseries. This information may greatly simplify the development of any future management strategies.
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