The Worst Enemy of Soybeans? The Red Banded Stinkbug

By Don Molino, The Voice of Louisiana Agriculture Radio Network

Red Banded stinkbugs have once again invaded Louisiana soybean fields.

LSU Extension Service Pest Management Specialist Dr. Sebe Brown says when soybeans reach the R5 stage, which a lot of the bean crop in both north and south Louisiana are reaching, that’s when beans are actually starting to form in the pod.

“If you break open these pods and you can actually see small beans inside, then that’s considered the R5 growth stage,” said Brown.

“Once soybean fields reach R5 it’s like someone threw a switch and red banded stinkbugs will typically, soon thereafter, start to migrate into a field.  They can cause severe amounts of injury. They’re the most detrimental insect pest we have in Louisiana soybean fields,” Brown continued.

Brown also says red banded stinkbugs are definitely an insect agricultural personnel do not need to take lightly.

“You need to scout for them early and often and do the best you can to keep them under control, primarily with insecticides like acephate or bisenthrin."