Pennsylvania Experiences Record Crop Damage Due to Pesky Stink Bugs


As temperatures start to cool down, invasive pests are seeking warm shelter. This year, Pennsylvania’s harvesting season was at a record low due to invasive Stink Bugs. Moreover, the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB), an insect not seen on our continent, was accidentally introduced into eastern Pennsylvania in 1998. According to Michael Saunders, a professor of entomology at Penn State University, some of the first brown “marmorated stink bugs” in the U.S. were discovered in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and they’ve been a problem for farmers ever since. “The best thing would be to vacuum them up, try to avoid disturbing them because they will give off that signature aroma,” the Pennsylvania State University Professor said.

According to the Penn State Entomology department: “This true bug in the insect family Pentatomidae is known as an agricultural pest in its native range of China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. Recently, the BMSB has become a serious pests of fruit, vegetables and farm crops in the Mid-Atlantic region and it is probable that it will become a pest of these commodities in other areas in the United States. BMSB becomes a nuisance pest both indoors and out when it is attracted to the outside of houses on warm fall days in search of protected, overwintering sites. BMSB occasionally reappears during warmer sunny periods throughout the winter, and again as it emerges in the spring.”

Although stink bugs are a smelly problem for homeowners, they are incredibly invasive pests even more so to our local farmers and their crops. They have incredibly broad diets as they eat everything from small fruit to green beans, as well as apples and grapes and berries. Since first being introduced to Allentown of 1998, the brown marmorated stink bugs have exponentially dispersed across the country.

You cannot squash them as they will give off a signature aroma that will, in fact, attract other stink bugs and create a bigger infestation. Some “Do It Yourself” remedies including vacuuming them up or flushing the pesky pests down the toilet. However, the best way is to seal your house with Green Pest Solutions’ exterior pest treatment. Green Pest Solutions will safeguard your home against these mini-invaders with their Green Band Protection System, a customized and safe treatment program that will prevent stink bugs from entering your home.

As of September of 2010, Halymorpha halys (marmorated stink bugs) has been recorded from the following 37 counties, although they are most likely 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

It’s already known that stink bugs are a problem for homeowners, yet now have become a potential problem for farmers. They state of Pennsylvania is greatly concerned about this nuisance and have funded the Penn State’s College of Agriculture Sciences to start a stink bug research project to try and find out more about the invasive critters and their possible environmental impact.


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