Vol. 121 (2008): Proceedings of the Florida State Horticultural Society
Ornamental, Garden & Landscape

Trap cropping system to suppress stink bugs in the southern coastal plain

Russell F. Mizell, III
T. Charles Riddle
Ann S. Blount

Published 2008-12-01


A trap cropping system was developed to manage the stink and leaffooted bug pests in the southern coastal plain and perhaps other areas. The biologically based strategy can be customized for any planting season from spring to fall. Plantings are established in small plots adjacent to the cash crop using standard cultural practices. A mixture of species and continuous management is required to ensure optimum food availability in the trap crop to out compete the cash crop for stink bug feeding. Triticale, sorghum, millet, buckwheat, and sunflower are the main species recommended. Small-acreage growers may wish to plant trap crops in large containers for portability. Millet, sorghum, and buckwheat may be ratooned (new growth after mowing) to extend the life of the trap crops relative to the cash crop. Augmentation of insect pollinators, generalist predators and parasites including those of stink bugs is an emergent property of these plantings. Stink bugs can be killed in the relatively smaller areas of the trap crop by hand, with sweep nets, or with insecticide applications.