Thursday, September 16, 2010
Kill This Bug
The brown marmorated stink bug is the latest invasive species on Maryland's ecological Most Wanted list.
I first saw this little beastie's mug shot in an email newletter from the Grow it, Eat it network from the University of Maryland College of Agricultural & Natural Resources. I recommend clicking on the link for a lot of useful information and additional photos.
According to a press release from the Maryland Department of Agriculture:
Native to Asia, the brown marmorated stink bug was first identified in Allentown, PA in 2001, though sightings may date back to 1996.
The press release goes on to note that this is the first year these pests have caused extensive crop damage. Apparently the warm weather this year has led to an explosion in numbers.
Another problem is that, like many invasive species, the stinkbugs have no natural predators. They feed by inserting their slender mouthparts into a plant and sucking its sap. This leaves toxins behind and ends up spreading fungi and bacteria from plant to plant. Not good at all.
As the cold weather comes, the stinks bugs are going to start coming indoors. Since first receiving the news about a week ago, I already found one at home (the very night I got the email!), two on the glass doors at the Rotunda in Hampden, and one at work (moments before writing this blog post!).
I know these pest are going to need a lot more control than just lil ol' me, but still it felt good to do my part and kill, kill, kill.
The Grow it, Eat it article talks a lot about how stinky these bugs are, but don't be afraid to squash them- I really didn't notice a strong smell at all when I killed them. Let me know if you do.
You can notice the bugs by their shield shape, speckled brown and white coloring, and little white bands on the antennae if you look really close.
Posted by AlizaEss