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New species of stink bugs in KY

By: Kari Hall Email
By: Kari Hall Email
First it was bed bugs. Now stink bugs! Experts say the hot, dry weather has proven to be ideal conditions for the smelly pests to thrive on crops. But problems with them may become even bigger than those with bed bugs.

BROWN MARMORATED STINK BUG

First it was bed bugs. Now stink bugs! Experts say the hot, dry weather has proven to be ideal conditions for the smelly pests to thrive on crops. But problems with them may become even bigger than those with bed bugs.

"Stink bugs are still out and they've been pretty tenacious this year. I mean they just keep coming at us every time. It's been so dry and there's not a lot of good vegetation for them to eat," says pumpkin producer Kevan Evans, owner of Evans Orchard.

We've known stink bugs to affect crops but there's a new species that may not only impact crops but invade your home in large numbers.

"The stink bug that we're interested in is called the brown marmorated stink bug. It's a native of Asia. It showed up in this country about 10 yrs ago and we think it's just reached Kentucky," says UK Entomologist Lee Townsend.

In late October, these stink bugs will march into homes through cracks around windows and doors often settling into the attic to escape the cold weather. The invasive creature doesn't bite or cause harm to the structure of your home. When Spring arrives they pack up and head out. And they're not called stink bugs for nothing.

Townsend says, "Don't smash it. They just make a bad stain and a terrible smell. So you're better off trying to brush them and get them outdoors and then try to prevent them from coming in the best you can."

They're described to have a shield shaped brown body with white banding on each antenna. Without a natural predator or insecticide to kill them, this species of stink bugs will likely become a growing nuisance for the Bluegrass.

If you spot the brown stink bugs around your home, you should report it to your local agriculture extension office.


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