The brown marmorated stink bug has been caught in a pheromone trap at RHS Garden Wisley, leading the gardening charity to warn that it could become a common threat to crops and gardens in the UK.
The brown marmorated stink bug, which is native to Asia, but now established in parts of Europe and the US, has only been caught using pheromones twice before in the UK, in London and Essex in 2020. It is not yet clear whether the lone adult caught in each instance represents a local population.
The male adult was found at RHS Garden Wisley in a pheromone trap installed as part of a project led by NIAB (East Malling) and funded by Defra.
Dr Glen Powell, Head of Plant Health at RHS Garden Wisley, said, “While there is currently no evidence of breeding, we would expect the stink bug to grow in prevalence and it may become problematic in gardens during summer and homes in the winter months within five-ten years. This isn’t a sudden invasion but potentially a gradual population build-up and spread, exacerbated by our warming world.”
Dr Michelle Fountain, Head of Pest and Pathogen Ecology, NIAB EMR added, “Brown marmorated stink bug represents a significant threat to food production systems in the UK, so it is crucial that we continue to monitor any establishment and spread of the pest. The long-term development of management and environmentally-sensitive control strategies will be needed so that the research community can keep industry and gardeners one step ahead of this pest species.”