Experts Plan Preemptive Strike Against Stink Bug

Updated: 06/10/2014 6:28 PM
Created: 06/10/2014 8:40 AM

It's one of the newest invasive species to hit the state, the brown stink bug, and it really stinks.

It attacks plants, and experts say it's widespread across the Twin Cities.

Now the University of Minnesota is working to fight this bug and stop its spread.

The "stink bug" has caused quite a problem for farmers in some Mid-Atlantic states. It first appeared in Minnesota four years ago. Right now the bugs are sticking close to houses, much like box elder bugs. But researchers are confident they'll soon spread to fields, like soy bean  and corn fields.

The bug, from Asia is known to suck up the nutrients from fruit and vegetable plants causing them to die or become deformed.

Last year the stink bugs started reproducing in Minnesota, so now some U of M Entomologist researchers want to find out how far the bugs have spread and how to stop that. They've been given a $260,000 dollar grant to do just that. 

"I don't think we'll be able to stop it's spread. But I think we've bought enough time to conduct this research and getting some management tactics in place. I don't think we'll ever get rid of it but hopefully we can get the farmers some tools, that they can use to suppress the populations when they start causing problems," said Bob Koch, U of M, Entomologist.

It's called a "stink bug," because it secretes a smell when in danger; some scientists say it smells like cilantro others say it smells like stinky socks.

If you see any of these bugs around your house, you're asked to call the Minnesota Department of Agriculture

Brown marmorated stink bug
Photo: University of Minnesota/Jeff Hahn

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