Exclusion cages were used to compare the incidence and severity of feeding injury from brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys (Stål) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae), on ‘Redhaven’ peaches, ‘Golden Delicious’ apples, and ‘Smoothee Golden’ apples at harvest, following sequential periods of exposure to natural H. halys populations during the 2011 and 2012 growing seasons in Virginia. The fruit used in these experiments were in orchards or on trees that were not managed for H. halys. Treatments were sets of 50 fruit that were always caged, never caged, or exposed during one interval during the fruiting period of peaches and apples in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. The cages effectively prevented feeding injury from H. halys. Peaches and apples that were never caged showed the highest percentages of injured fruit at harvest. Exposure treatment had a significant effect on the percentage of fruit showing external injury at harvest in both years for apples and in 2012 for peaches, and a significant effect on the percentage of apples and peaches showing internal injury at harvest in both years. There was no consistent effect of each exposure period on peach injury, but apples exposed during the mid- to latter portion of the season tended to show most injury. Across all exposure periods, more internal than external injuries were recorded at harvest from peaches, while apples tended to have equal or very similar numbers of both kinds of injury. The implications of these results to H. halys management in eastern apple orchards are discussed.
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