|Stink bugs hiding under lilac leaf|
I’ve discovered Stink-Bug Central, at least in the landscape here at Meadow Glenn.
During gardening year 2011 I’ve been alert to brown marmorated stink bug comings and goings, and I’ve posted about some of them. Early this growing season I’d find five or 10 stink bugs on each fruiting head of our developing blackberries and raspberries. Then they attacked our tomatoes, especially the larger varieties, even before they began changing from green to red. I planted squash and cucumbers in late June to avoid borer problems but found the late-growing plants were manna from Bob for the stink bugs, which attacked both foliage and fruit.
Last month I noticed stink bugs in fairly large numbers on the trunks and larger limbs of our Japanese maple trees and in lesser numbers on our native maple, oak, dogwood, and redbud trees.
Recently I realized I had ignored our spring-flowering shrubs, so when I pruned a hedge of forsythia on Tuesday, I checked the shrubs and also a nearby lilac bush. The 20-foot hedge of forsythia was stink-bug free, but the lilac shrub….
|Stink bugs on lilac branch|
As I approached the second lilac, I accidentally brushed a low-hanging branch with my right shoulder and then ducked instinctively as a horde of buzzing insects bounced off me.
No, scores of buzzing, flying stink bugs from just one lilac branch.
|More stink bugs on lilac branches|
How many brown marmorated stink bugs were in our two lilacs? There must have been hundreds, if not thousands, on the two bushes.
If you had stink bugs in your landscape last year and haven’t seen many this year, and if you have a lilac plant, investigate. You may be shocked at the numbers of bugs you find, and you may know the answer to your question, “Where are the all the stink bugs this year?”
My discovery of stink-bug central may also answer a question about lilacs.
Several weeks ago, Ellen asked, “Did we have any lilac blooms this spring?”
“I can’t remember any,” I replied. “Perhaps it was the weather.”
Or perhaps in summer and fall 2010 the brown marmorated stink bugs destroyed the buds that would have been lilac blooms in spring 2011.
Seems possible to me.
What do you think?