The brown marmorated stink bug: a new arrival in Québec

Adult of the brown marmorated stinkbug (Halyomorpha halys).
Credit: Insectarium de Montréal (René Limoges)
Adult of the brown marmorated stinkbug (Halyomorpha halys).
The brown marmorated stink bug: a new arrival in Québec

Last winter, a number of Quebecers noticed a new insect hiding in their homes. It was the brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys), an insect in the shape of a small brown shield with banded edges that’s raising a lot of questions! A native ofAsia, this exotic species is known to establish itself in urban areas and then spread to other habitats.

It invites itself into homes…

Much like the Asian lady beetle, the brown marmorated stink bug uses human dwellings to protect itself from the cold during the winter. Harmless to both humans and animals, this bug cannot reproduce inside our homes. But its presence is a nuisance, because when disturbed the insect may secrete a distinctly disagreeable odor.

…and threatens plants

If the Asian lady beetle is an efficient predator in our crops, the brown marmorated stink bug in contrast is considered to be an important pest: it attacks a wide variety of fruit, vegetable and ornamental crops. What it does is pierce plant tissue to remove the sap, thereby producing necrotic areas on the fruit, the buds, the leaves and the stem. In Québec it is not yet established in rural regions.

The importance of keeping an eye on it

Over the last few months, the presence of the brown marmorated stink bug has been pointed out especially in the Montréal region. Since this is a crop pest, it is extremely important to be on the alert for its proliferation on Québec territory – which is why, starting this summer, you may notice stink bug traps installed here and there around the island, on both public and private land. Those traps will serve not only to detect sites the insect may potentially have established, but also to track the progress of its populations. This detection work, coordinated by the Ville de Montréal environment department, is also being carried out in collaboration with the national brown marmorated stink bug surveillance network in Canada. You can read more about this project at the following link (French only):

What do we do?

If you suspect that you have a brown marmorated stinkbug, its identification must first be confirmed by our experts. It’s therefore necessary to have a high-quality photo or else a sample of the insect and to forward your information to the Insectarium’s entomological information service. The data received will be integrated into the detection network. If the insect was found inside your home, you can destroy it after notifying us of its presence. Next fall, to keep these insects from introducing themselves into your home, it’s advisable to seal all openings that the insect might use as an entranceway.

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