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Stink Bugs: What's All the Stink About?

| 10/8/2010 12:57:16 PM

A photo of Shannon SaiaI guess we must just be lucky.

When a tornado cut a 24-mile-long swath through Southern Maryland in 2002, we were blissfully unaware of it. We stood at our back door and marveled at the golf-ball-sized hail that slammed down into the back yard for a few minutes, and only later did we find out why. When the Cicadas (17-year locusts) emerged in 2004, we were on the fringe of that too. We saw a few here, but nothing like what I saw in Virginia, where they were piling up on sidewalks and being swept into office building lobbies by revolving doors. And now? As I sit down to idly Google what for us has been little more than an oddity and an aggravation, I find that once again we’re on the fringe of something big.

Well, bigger than it is in our yard, anyway.

If you haven’t yet had the pleasure, meet the brown marmorated stink bug.

You’ll want to make a good impression and get on good terms with him immediately, because if agricultural scientists are right, you too will be hosting him at your home, farm or garden sooner or later.

The adult bugs are about the size of a fingernail, and are native to parts of China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. The official theory is that they were unwittingly brought into the county in shipping containers about ten years ago, and their first confirmed appearance was in Allentown, PA, in 2001. By 2003 they were in Western Maryland and heading east. Populations have been found in 15 states so far, with specimens in 14 other states, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. From New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia, and Virginia, to smaller populations in Mississippi, Ohio, Oregon, and California, the stink bug is getting around. According to what I’ve read they pose no known health hazard and they don’t bite. The problem, apparently, is that nothing bites them either. The stink bug has no known natural predators in this country, and over the past ten or so years they’ve been hitchhiking around the country on cars and campers, and multiplying like … well … stink bugs.

5/21/2014 2:29:00 AM

As the rate of accidents are increasing day by day, we people have to stay alert so that we can stay miles away from such crash or accidents.There are the preventive steps that we have to follow. Most of the times, because of the internal issues of the car accidents and crashes take place. These internal issues will take place if proper servicing not done for the vehicle. So, we have to go for the servicing of our vehicle after the vehicle completes some particular miles of run. If we do proper servicing then we can minimize the chance of wear and tear in the vehicle.

Allan Douglas
10/15/2010 11:08:07 AM

I've seen a few of those around in the yard. By the shape I knew they were stink bugs, but I didn't know they were yet another invader from the orient. Thanks for all the great information!

Cindy Murphy
10/10/2010 7:31:37 PM

I remember Hubs was talking about them earlier this summer; they made top USDA news. We've had stink bugs around for nearly as long as I can remember, even as a kid, I think. The ones I see are solid light gray, not mottled as the ones in the photo. An indigenous stinkbug maybe? I've never seen them congregate - never more than one or two a summer. Sigh. I suppose it's only a matter of time. It's the European chafers I sweep off the porch by the dozens as they're doing in the last link. Ewww, I can't stand them, but the damage they do is nothing compared to the Emerald Ash Borer, (also an invader from foreign lands), and though it's not here yet, we're getting warnings the the woolly algeid that's devastated much of the hemlock forests on the east coast may be headed this way. Another sigh. Thanks for an interesting report, Shannon.

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