Monitoring the distribution and abundance of an invasive species is challenging, especially during the initial years of spread when population densities are low and basic biology and monitoring methods are being investigated. Brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys (Stål)) is an invasive agricultural and urban pest that was first detected in the United States in the late 1990s. At the time of its detection, no method was available to effectively track H. halys populations, which are highly mobile and polyphagous. One possible solution was the utilization of black light traps, which are nonspecific traps attractive to night flying insects. To determine if black light traps are a reliable monitoring tool for H. halys, a state-wide network of 40–75 traps located on New Jersey farms were monitored from 2004 to 2011 for H. halys. This proved to be a highly effective method of monitoring H. halys populations and their spread at the landscape level. The total number of brown marmorated stink bug caught in New Jersey increased exponentially during this period at a rate of 75% per year. Logistic regression estimates that 2.84 new farms are invaded each year by H. halys. The results indicate that black light traps are attractive to early season populations as well as at low population densities. Weekly trap catch data are being used to generate state-wide population distribution maps made available to farmers in weekly newsletters and online. While no economic threshold currently exists for brown marmorated stink bug, the maps provide farmers with a tool to forecast pest pressure and plan management.
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Vol. 106 • No. 3