Another approach to reducing the population of BMSBs is classical biological control — using its natural enemies to help keep its populations in check.

Hoelmer continues work he began at the Beneficial Insects Introduction Research Unit in Newark, Del., to find parasitoid insects that may lend a hand. Surveys conducted in the United States found that native stink bug parasitoids are not capable of controlling BMSBs, so it is important that more effective biological control agents from Asia be identified, tested, and eventually imported to the United States.

Hoelmer has collected some of these parasitoids during foreign exploration in collaboration with the USDA-ARS Sino-American Biological Control Laboratory, in Beijing, China, and is now testing them in quarantine culture in Newark to determine their specificity for the BMSB.

Each of these research disciplines is needed to control BMSB populations in the United States, which will help farmers and homeowners alike.

The project is an example of how USDA and ARS have the organization, infrastructure, and expertise to move quickly toward solving an emergent problem for agriculture

This research is part of Crop Protection and Quarantine (#304) and Methyl Bromide Alternatives (#308), two ARS national programs described at www.nps.ars.usda.gov.

To reach scientists mentioned in this article, contact Sharon Durham, USDA-ARS Information Staff, 5601 Sunnyside Ave., Beltsville, MD 20705-5129; (301) 504-1611.