The size and number of resulting brown spots depends on the number of bugs feeding on the crop, the size of the bugs, their feeding mechanism, and the age of the crop. Early season nuts are more vulnerable to bug damage. A bug attack at that time can cause complete collapse of the kernel or can trigger hormonal changes in the tree that result in significant nut drop. Mid-season and later feeding produce significant gumming, brown spots, and dimpling. Late season attacks produce shallow spots. BMSB: The invasive Brown Marmorated Stink Bug arrived in Southern California in 2002, the San Joaquin Valley in 2015, and registered its first almond crop damage in 2016 in the Northern San Joaquin Valley. It continues to spread in the valley causing extensive damage. It is distinguished from Native Stink Bugs by white bands around its antennae and legs. Symptoms of its presence in an almond crop include gummosis, yellowish nuts and
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brownish speckles on kernels, also shriveled and dried nuts. Most of the damage occurs along the edges of an orchard. BMSB causes kernel damage all season but lessens
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later in the season. Commercial traps are available for BMSB. The pest can be detected in traps in mid-March. The same control measures that are effective for Native Stink Bug help control BMSB.
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