Stink bugs, primarily the rice stink bug and brown stink bug, are frequently observed on wheat that is heading where they feed on developing seed. Rice stink bug is generally most common, but this may vary from field to field.

Stink bugs can be sampled visually be examining the heads of plants. However, a sweep net can be used to confirm the presence or absence of stinks bugs. Samples should be distributed throughout the field.

Treatment thresholds are not well defined, but large numbers of stink bugs are needed to justify treatment. Published thresholds vary from as low as 1 stink bug per 5 – 10 heads to as high as 1 stink bug per head.

Management options

  • Economically damaging infestations in Tennessee are rare, and thus, insecticide treatments are seldom needed.
  • If treatment is needed, pyrethroid insecticides that are labeled for wheat would generally be recommended. The highest labeled rates are suggested if brown stink bugs are numerous.