What Are Stink Bugs and Where Did They Come From?
The trouble these brown marmorated stink bugs are causing are just pure destruction. They just do not smell bad, but they are causing trouble for homeowners and farmers from New Hampshire to California. Predators that are supposed to eat them, are not consuming them fast enough, which makes the situation out of control.
These stink bugs that look like a little brown shield was accidentally introduced from Asia and was first spotted in Pennsylvania in the 1990s. After that, they have spread all over the U.S. These inch-long pests can east about 100 different crops, from soybeans to apples, thus resulting to millions of dollars in crop damage. Just this 2010, U.S apple growers lost $37 million because of these stink bugs.
They Don't Just Smell Bad
Stink bugs are also regarded as a disgusting nuisance to homeowners and even for those who has been selling real estate. Stink bugs do not normally go by themselves, but they are commonly found in numbers. So imagine, if you are selling a home and the person looking at the house find one climbing the wall above the kitchen cabinet while the other was crawling by the window sill? While exterminators may claim that they can fully get rid of all the bugs, but the difficulties to fully getting rid of these bugs will really be a challenge.
Homeowners who suffer from these persistent bugs are found scooping about 300 to 400 stink bugs on just one afternoon. The worst part is getting rid of the stink that could fill the whole weekend just to clean the air out of a building. While some may get used to the pungent odor, but most find it difficult to even describe how the smells smell like. So, just imagine 400 hundred stink bugs in your home, the pungent odor may stay longer even if they are not around.
How We're Dealing With Stink Bugs
Since stink bugs are so repulsive and disgusting, those who are constantly bug by these pests are also creating ways to kill them. People are resorting to creating “death jars” that is consisted of a jar filled with soapy water. The idea is to get the bugs inside the jar and let them drawn since they will be able to get out. Death jars may be sufficient enough for homeowners, but these jars will not suffice the growing nuisance they create in orchards.
These bugs eat up apples, peaches, and pears on vineyards. The use of insecticides may not be a good option because most of these bugs will not even die. Using a stronger insecticide however, may cause more problems since this can kill predators that eat other pests. Bugs that work in orchards for free are essential, but the brown marmorated stink bugs are like bugs that are made of a little tank that is pretty tough to eradicate.
For the past three years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture scientists have been testing pheromone traps to attract and kill these stink bugs. the trap looks like a 3-foot-tall black arrowhead that is pointing up that is topped with a plastic jar placed upside down. Stink bugs will think that the structure is a tree, which in turn trap and annihilate them. USDA researcher Tracy Leskey who experimented with these traps where able to annihilate more than 60,000 stink bugs in a little more than 20 baited trees.
According to the USDA researchers, they exploited the behavior of the marmorated stink bugs and used it to their advantage. Like many insects, these bugs have a natural tendency to climb up. So the researchers lined traps to guard the crops that resulted to killing most of them. However, these traps will not kill most of these bugs, which is why the USDA are looking for a more permanent solution.
The USDA believe that the key to winning this battle is to find a biological control, which is to bring in something that kills the bugs. USDA researchers have identified wasps from Asia that attack the eggs of the brown marmorated stink bug. Once their proposal is submitted and they are certain that these wasps will not be a cause to further damage to the environment or other native species, then they may be able to release them. And, while permanent solutions are still on the way, homeowners and farmers should still look for alternatives and fight these bugs from continuously destroying crops.
Need help in eliminating stink bugs? Contact Horizon Pest Control. Our technicians are trained to handle stink bug infestations of all sizes. Click Stink Bugs Removal to schedule an appointment today. For our commercial clients, kindly visit Commercial Pest Control.