Typically, growers who use a pyrethroid-based insecticide for bollworm control will be able to control green stink bugs and Southern green stink bugs. If the infestation is dominated by brown stink bugs, Bidrin or methyl parathion should be used, Greene says.

“Be especially vigilant for stink bugs in both Bt cotton and non-Bt cotton fields when no treatments are being applied for caterpillars,” he warns.

Bacheler says in North Carolina, “Based on calls and our own observations, we appear to have moderate to high levels of stink bugs in many areas of the state, with a few fields in the mid-20 percent boll damage level.

“Fortunately, up to this point many cotton fields are in the single digits for damage, though this could change as more stink bugs invade cotton fields and additional fields enter the third week of bloom when the 10 percent threshold is in effect.”

Ames Herbert, Virginia Tech entomologist and IPM leader says, “Most of our cotton is about 10 days to 2 weeks into the blooming period. This is the perfect time to begin scouting for stink bug damaged bolls.

“We just completed 5 cotton field scouting clinics across our cotton region and it was not hard to find stink bug damaged bolls, and a couple of fields had high levels (30-40 percent) of internal stink bug damage,” he adds.

All three entomologists urge cotton growers to use the new cotton stink bug scouting cards, which provide the thresholds, scouting procedures and a template for determining the proper size of the bolls that should be used to make any treatment decision.

These cards can be obtained from county or regional extension agents.