Stink Bugs

Stink BugThe brown stink bug is an insect not previously seen on our continent, it was apparently accidentally introduced into eastern Pennsylvania. It was first collected in September of 1998 in Allentown, but probably arrived several years earlier. As of September 2010, Stink Bugs have been recorded from the following counties, although it is probable that they are in all counties:

Adams, Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Berks, Blair, Bucks, Butler, Cambria, Carbon, Centre, Chester, Clinton, Columbia, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Franklin, Indiana, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Luzerne, Mercer, Mifflin, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Northumberland, Perry, Philadelphia, Pike, Snyder, Washington, Westmoreland and York

Adults are approximately one inch long and are shades of brown on both the upper and lower body surfaces. They are the typical “shield” shape of other stink bugs, almost as wide as they are long. They have patches of coppery or bluishmetallic colored small rounded depressions on the head and pronotum. The name “stink bug” refers to the scent glands located on the dorsal surface of the abdomen and the underside of the thorax.

This insect is becoming an important agricultural pest in Pennsylvania. In 2010, it produced severe losses in some apple and peach orchards by damaging peaches and apples. It also has been found feeding on blackberry, sweet corn, field corn and soybeans. In neighboring states it has been observed damaging tomatoes, lima beans and green peppers.

How do I know if I have Stink Bugs?

Typically, stink bugs will emerge from cracks under or behind baseboards, around window and door trim, and around exhaust fans or lights in ceilings. Seal these openings with caulk or other suitable materials to prevent the insects from crawling out. Both live and dead stink bugs can be removed from interior areas with the aid of a vacuum cleaner – however, the vacuum may acquire the smell of stink bugs for a period of time.

*Source Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences

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