The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug
The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug is an invasive species that came to the United States about ten years ago from Asia. Like many invasive species, the stink bug is believed to have come from overseas in packing crates. Interestingly, the first stink bug was captured in Allentown, Pennsylvania in 1998.
This year, the stink bug population has spiked dramatically. Experts believe that this is due to a warmer than normal winter and spring. Stink bugs are a nuisance in families’ homes, and are harmful to farmers’ crops. Stink bugs damage crops, such as fruit, by sucking out the juice and injecting saliva. Stink bugs leave pockmarks and spots on the affected crops, making them unmarketable. The threat that stink bugs pose to Pennsylvania farm products should not be underestimated. Several research projects are underway to find methods to defeat the bug, but if the current situation continues, more work needs to be done to protect our food crops from devastation.
People can reduce the risk of stink bugs invading their homes and businesses by following many of the same practices used to increase energy efficiency. Helpful actions include screening windows and attic vents, weather-stripping doors and caulking cracks around windows, doorframes and pipes.