Topic: Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Pest
The brown marmorated stink bug (or stinkbug) is a new invasive species affecting local crops and gardens. After being accidentally introduced to Pennsylvania in the 1990s from Asia, it has spread to 38 states, including North Carolina.
It is known to affect apples, apricots, Asian pears, cherries, corn, grapes, lima beans, peaches, peppers, tomatoes, and soybeans. These stinkbugs damage a plant when they use their stylets to pierce the plant tissue to extract fluids to eat and inject their saliva into the plant, potentially resulting in reduced growth, dead seeds, and rot.
You might have noticed many brown marmorated stink bugs coming indoors during the fall to escape the cold. They essentially hibernate, then when they suspect the winter is over, they become active again and start looking for a way back outside.
With the current global economic situation, potential wheat shortages due to war, and droughts in some countries, the effects of these stinkbugs could be especially hard felt this year. Most farms and gardens in the area have probably already seen this pest in recent years, but some might be caught off guard as this new invasive species of pest continues its spread through the region.
I'm hoping those involved in farming and gardening in our area are already looking into the various natural pest-control measures for these odoriferous invaders.