How to Avoid a Stink Bug Disaster in Corn

— Written By
en Español / em Português

El inglés es el idioma de control de esta página. En la medida en que haya algún conflicto entre la traducción al inglés y la traducción, el inglés prevalece.

Al hacer clic en el enlace de traducción se activa un servicio de traducción gratuito para convertir la página al español. Al igual que con cualquier traducción por Internet, la conversión no es sensible al contexto y puede que no traduzca el texto en su significado original. NC State Extension no garantiza la exactitud del texto traducido. Por favor, tenga en cuenta que algunas aplicaciones y/o servicios pueden no funcionar como se espera cuando se traducen.


Inglês é o idioma de controle desta página. Na medida que haja algum conflito entre o texto original em Inglês e a tradução, o Inglês prevalece.

Ao clicar no link de tradução, um serviço gratuito de tradução será ativado para converter a página para o Português. Como em qualquer tradução pela internet, a conversão não é sensivel ao contexto e pode não ocorrer a tradução para o significado orginal. O serviço de Extensão da Carolina do Norte (NC State Extension) não garante a exatidão do texto traduzido. Por favor, observe que algumas funções ou serviços podem não funcionar como esperado após a tradução.


English is the controlling language of this page. To the extent there is any conflict between the English text and the translation, English controls.

Clicking on the translation link activates a free translation service to convert the page to Spanish. As with any Internet translation, the conversion is not context-sensitive and may not translate the text to its original meaning. NC State Extension does not guarantee the accuracy of the translated text. Please note that some applications and/or services may not function as expected when translated.

Collapse ▲
Brown stink bug feeding above the crown of seedling corn. This will result in leaf holes, but probably not stunting, tillering, or plant death.

Brown stink bug feeding above the crown of seedling corn. This will result in leaf holes, but probably not stunting, tillering, or plant death.

Stink bug pressure is already heavy this year. A lot of seedling injury has been reported (see previous article). This is caused from adults that overwintered from last year, either in soybean stubble, woods, or weeds. The most severe injury results from feeding on the crown, but stalk feeding (see photo) should only result in foliar injury (photo in previous article). Corn that is V2-V8 will be susceptible to stink bug injury. The earlier the stink bug hits the plant, the more severe yield loss will be during these stages. So our static threshold at this stage is not very good.

Brown stink bug (left) and rice stink bug (right) adults.

Brown stink bug (left) and rice stink bug (right) adults.

Stink bugs that hit seedling corn will create a new generation on weeds or wheat. These are the ones that can really hurt corn by moving from weeds when they dry or wheat when it is harvested. Rice stink bugs (see photo) love wheat, but are not a corn pest. Brown stink bugs (see photo) also love wheat and are a corn pest. We really need to watch (scout) corn once it is waist high until it tassels. This is the stage where stink bugs can cause a disaster by feeding on the ear as it develops. Once corn tassels, the ear is already pushing out and most of the injury has already occurred. It may be tempting to tank mix and insecticide with a fungicide. You need to decide whether you want to target the spray optimally for the fungicide or the insecticide, since these two timings don’t overlap. A threshold population of stink bugs before tasseling justifies the cost of the trip over your field.

Our threshold for spraying stink bugs is one stink bug per four plants when the ear is forming, during ear elongation and the beginning of pollen shed and one stink bug per two plants nearing the end of pollen shed to the blister stage. I am willing to shift this threshold up to one stink bugs per 10 plants when the ear is forming to be extra protective. Numbers this high are still rare.

Finally, we have published information from NC that demonstrates the ineffectiveness of aerial insecticide applications over corn when they are applied at tasseling and using the typical fungicide spraying method (see article). Stink bugs are difficult to kill with aerial applications because the insects can hide in leaf folds near the stalk. Make it clear to your aerial applicator that you want to penetrate the canopy and kill insects. There are aerial applicators that can kill stink bugs based on follow ups we’ve made in the field after sprays. Stink bugs can be killed for up to a week using a high-clearance tractor (see screening information graph). Don’t expect much, if any, residual from your chemical. Stink bugs can reinvade the field after sprays.

Number of brown stink bugs per plant at one, two, seven and 14 days after treatment.

Number of brown stink bugs per plant at one, two, seven and 14 days after treatment.