Stink Bug Invasion
The stink bug invasion that started in the mountains three years ago is getting worse. Local researchers are finding growing numbers and major problems beyond the annoyance of an insect that wants to move into your home.
The certain type that's the problem is the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, originally from Asia. It first showed up in Pennsylvania in 2001. Then it started to march south.
Stink bugs don't harm anything and only release their pungent odor when agitated. But for homeowners who can't keep them out, they are a hassle that won't go away.
At the North Carolina State Extension Center in Mills River, researchers study stink bugs for reasons beyond annoying home invasion. Their clinical concern is taking on a sudden sense of urgency.
"2010 is when we first detected it in Western North Carolina and over that time we've seen numbers increase. This year was the first time that we've seen damage occurring in agricultural settings," said Jim Walgenbach.
Apples, peaches, tomatoes and corn are just some of the things on the stink bug menu. Since they are so new to the United States, there is no true predator or parasite to control them. Thus, the population just keeps growing.
Click here for more information and report Brown Marmorated Stink Bug activity in Western North Carolina.
By Frank Kracher
Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankKracher