This year’s stink bug invasion is expected to be one of the worst ever.
Stink bugs, officially called the brown marmorated stink bug, are an invasive species that found its way to the United States in the 1990’s. The bugs originally come from Asia and cost Mid-Atlantic apple growers $37 million in apples last year. The Environmental Protection Agency has approved two insecticides that can be used on the bugs, but there isn’t yet an official solution to getting them out of homes. Stink bugs are able to grow so rapidly in numbers because they have no natural predator in America. The USDA has considered introducing the stink bug’s natural predator, the Asian trissolcus wasp, into the country. The Asian wasp is small, doesn’t sting and only eat stink bug eggs, reports the International Science Times.
The stinkbugs have invaded 40 states, but Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia have the worst infestations. The U.S. Agricultural Department was conducting the Great Stink Bug Count to track the insects, but the main researcher was furloughed due to the government shutdown and the site is no longer available. People are advised to use silicone or silicone-latex caulking to seal cracks around windows, doors, siding, pipes and behind chimneys to increase the odds of keeping the invasive bugs out of their homes, reports Consumer Reports.