Non-Native ‘Stink Bugs’ Could Be Big in Minnesota This Year
All our snow hasn't even melted yet, but there's already a warning about a new non-native bug that's set to invade the Land of 10,000 Lakes later this spring-- and it stinks.
Literally. Because the new insect menace that's taking aim at the Bold North is none other than... the stink bug. The brown marmorated stink bug, according to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, if you're being all scientific about it.
It's called the stink bug because when you kill one by crushing it with a paper towel or step on it with your shoe, it emits a peculiar odor which, well, doesn't smell good. You might say it even stinks. In fact, this TwinCities.com story describes the smell as "stale cilantro, rotten eggs, a teenager’s gym socks, paper mills, decaying flesh, and even death."
Won't THAT be fun! But brace yourself, Minnesota, because the stink bug is coming our way. In fact, it's probably already here. The story says the first one was spotted in the state back in 2010 near the Twin Cities. And they were spotted two years ago up in Duluth.
The story said it takes about 10 years for them to take hold, which could make 2020 the year of the stink bug. Swarms of them are known to "eat their way across fields of farm crops, orchards, gardens and vineyards and then congregate by the hundreds in your home to spend the winter," the story noted. Great. The only good news-- if you can call it that-- is that the story says stink bugs don't bite.
So how did it end up here? Well, ag officials believe it hitched a ride in packaging from its native home in Asia before first showing up in the U.S. back in 1996 near Allentown, Pennsylvania. They've been migrating west ever since. So just about the time we're finally all over the coronavirus (hopefully!) might be the same time we'll be dealing with the stink bug. (I think I'll take the bug, thank you!)
For more information onp the stink bug, and how to stop them, check out www.stopBMSB.org. And, if you think you have found a brown marmorated stink bug, get a hold of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Arrest the Pest program at firstname.lastname@example.org.