They’re brown. They fly. And when squished, they let out a foul scent.
It’s the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, and resident Cecilia Gonzalez says this type of pesky insect is invading her South Pas home.
“I have lived on the Arroyo for 20 plus years and have never seen these bugs before,” she wrote to Patch March 15. ”They started appearing about 1.5 to 2 years ago.”
Native to China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan, the invasive species—also know as Halyomorpha halys—can be found in 29 states across the US. Discoloration and pitting has been observed on peach, nectarine, fig and apple fruit.
“Like the light brown apple moth, this pest attacks a wide variety of high value crops, including tree fruit. … It also feeds on non-cash crops,” said Eddie Dunbar, Founder & President at Insect Sciences Museum of California.
This type of stink bug was introduced to California in March 2005; they're currently only known to be established in Los Angeles County.
How Do I Get Rid of Them?
How to control the brown stink bug is a question everyone is asking, said Dunbar.
But researchers and public agencies are still in the process of obtaining funding. And the best way to facilitate research is for gardeners and farmers to write about their experiences and share the information online, she says.
“For the average gardener, Internet speed will produce answers much faster than our researchers and public agencies…”
For homeowners, Dunbar recommends the following links as resources:
- Management Guidelines for Stink Bugs on Tomato
- Managing Pests in Gardens
- Management Guidelines for Stink Bugs on Small Grains
- Guidelines for Stink Bugs on Peach
“Control for this new pest will likely be similar to control for other members of the stink bug family (Pentatomidae). As a State we will be helped if gardeners and others report infestations to their local County Agricultural Commissioner's office," she said.
"The more data we have to go on, the more quickly researchers and public agencies can communicate and fund a strategy for controlling this new and potentially serious invasive."
Patch Asks: Are these bugs invading your home and garden? Have you seen them around town? What have you done to get rid of them?