Species that have a wide host range and are both highly mobile and relatively long-lived as adults are difficult to manage and if alternative hosts are present in the surrounding land, the potential risk of invasion and re-invasion is greatly increased. It is for this reason that the likelihood of damaging outbreaks of these pests in fields may be a function of the land use diversity in the surrounding area.
Our laboratory is researching the effects that different surrounding land use and habitat diversity have on the abundance of Japanese beetles, Popillia japonica Newman (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) and stink bugs in soybean fields. We are interested in both the initial appearance and seasonal abundance of these insects in relation to the level of diversity and land use in the surrounding area (defined for this study as greater than 50% agricultural land or less than 10% agricultural land within a 2km buffer). Sampling for this project will be conducted at two commercial soybean field sites for each of these requirements and one untreated soybean field at an Iowa State University research farm in three Iowa counties. This project will encompass the use of several different sampling methods to capture and identify the Japanese beetles and stink bugs in these fields throughout the growing season and measure their seasonal abundance. During the course of this project, we will also be monitoring for the presence of the invasive brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys Stal (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae).