ST. PAUL — The bagrada bug is an invasive insect which has become a problem for the production of crucifers in the southwest United States from California to Texas. Bagrada bug has never been reported in Minnesota and would not be expected to survive a Minnesota winter. However, during 2017 two suspected bagrada bugs (Bagrada hilaris) were captured by the MDA in monitoring traps for the brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys – BMSB). One specimen was captured in North Branch and one was captured in Northfield, both in October. Follow up visual survey by the MDA and the University of Minnesota this fall did not result in any more specimens being found.
The specimens have not been officially identified and are only considered to be suspect bagrada bugs. However, bagrada bug is a visually distinctive insect and it is likely these specimens are B. hilaris or a closely related species – of which none are known to occur in Minnesota either.
It is a mystery how these insects came to be captured in Minnesota but they may have hitchhiked on materials or vehicles coming into the state. The MDA will be following up in 2018 to look for further occurrence of bagrada bug in Minnesota. In the meantime, citizens should report potential sightings to the MDA. Like BMSB, bagrada bugs overwinter as adults and could potentially invade homes to overwinter.
— Minnesota Department of Agriculture
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