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Stink Bug Uproar
September 28, 2010, 5:25 pm
Filed under: News | Tags: ,

Stink Bug Uproar

Image Courtesy of Pennsylvania Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources

An article out today in the Baltimore Messenger gives us some insight into Halyomorpha halys (brown marmorated stink bug), where they came from and why they are here in great numbers this year.  Below are some excerpts from the article:

At the University of Maryland’s Home and Garden Information Center, a team of horticulture specialists fields calls on all manner of plants and pests.

But for the past few weeks, one topic has dominated the call center: stink bugs.

“By and large, that’s all everybody wants to talk about,” said Christine McComas, a certified professional horticulturist who estimated that 90 percent of calls to the center’s hotline in recent weeks are for stink bug queries.

The bugs, which are roughly the size of a pumpkin seed and are a mottled brown color with a shield-like back, made their first confirmed appearance in Allentown, Pa., in 2001. They arrived in western Maryland by 2003, and began heading east.

The bugs are native to areas of China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan, and were unintentionally transported to the U.S. in shipping containers

It could be worse, according to Jane Wolfson, director of the Environmental Science and Studies Program at Towson University.

“They can’t hurt you. Be glad they’re not mosquitoes,” said Wolfson, a resident of Jacksonville. “They do smell, there’s no question about it. But the smell’s not permanent..

Residents have seen an insurgence of the insects in recent weeks, as the air cools and they seek indoor places to “overwinter.”

Lack of predators, plentiful food sources and weather conditions likely contributed to the insurgence of the bugs this year.

For the full article, CLICK HERE.