Biological control of invasive stink bugs: review of global state and future prospects

Eric Conti, Gonzalo Avila, Barbara Barratt, Fernanda Cingolani, Stefano Colazza, Salvatore Guarino, Kim Hoelmer, Raul Alberto Laumann, Lara Maistrello, Guillaume Martel, Ezio Peri, Cesar Rodriguez-Saona, Gabriele Rondoni, Michael Rostás, Pio Federico Roversi, René F.H. Sforza, Luciana Tavella, Eric Wajnberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Invasive stink bugs (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) are responsible for high economic losses to agriculture on a global scale. The most important species, dating from recent to old invasions, include Bagrada hilaris (Burmeister), Halyomorpha halys (Stål), Piezodorus guildinii (Westwood), Nezara viridula (L.), and Murgantia histrionica (Hahn). Bagrada hilaris, H. halys, and N. viridula are now almost globally distributed. Biological control of these pests faces a complex set of challenges that must be addressed to maintain pest populations below the economic injury level. Several case studies of classical and conservation biological control of invasive stink bugs are reported here. The most common parasitoids in their geographical area of origin are egg parasitoids (Hymenoptera: Scelionidae, Encyrtidae, and Eupelmidae). Additionally, native parasitoids of adult stink bugs (Diptera: Tachinidae) have in some cases adapted to the novel hosts in the invaded area and native predators are known to prey on the various instars. Improving the efficacy of biocontrol agents is possible through conservation biological control techniques and exploitation of their chemical ecology. Moreover, integration of biological control with other techniques, such as behavioural manipulation of adult stink bugs and plant resistance, may be a sustainable pest control method within organic farming and integrated pest management programs. However, additional field studies are needed to verify the efficacy of these novel methods and transfer them from research to application.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-51
Number of pages24
JournalEntomologia Experimentalis et Applicata
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Insect Science


  • Hemiptera
  • Pentatomidae
  • Scelionidae
  • Tachinidae
  • biocontrol
  • chemical ecology
  • invasive species
  • landscape management
  • parasitoid
  • pre-emptive classical biological control
  • risk assessment
  • semiochemicals


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