Serving as an Extension agent, I have the unique opportunity to participate in all kinds of strange functions; however, perhaps the strangest yet has been traveling to Portland Oregon to participate on the brown marmorated stinkbug taskforce committee. As soon as you stop laughing and wipe the tears from your eyes, I would like to tell you why you should be concerned about this new invader. Here is some information straight from the Utah Pests factsheet (utahpests.usu.edu):
Do You Know?
- Brown marmorated stink bug was introduced into the U.S. from eastern Asia in the late 1990s, and has since spread to the East, upper Midwest, and Northwest regions.
- It feeds on a broad range of plants including fruits, vegetables, field crops, ornamentals, weeds, and native species.
- Adult- and nymph-feeding causes light-colored stippling and lesions on leaves, necrotic lesions and scars on fruits, and deformed pods and seeds on legumes.
- Adults can be a major nuisance pest by overwintering inside buildings.
- This insect has not yet been reported in Utah. Please report suspected specimens or crop injury to USU Extension or the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food.
This pest has been detected and confirmed in Utah in Salt Lake and Utah counties. In fact, I found one crawling across my kitchen counter in March of this year. You might be thinking, wait a minute, we have had stinkbugs for a long time. You are right, we have, in fact we have native stink bugs in the U.S. but this type is new to Utah and troublesome. We are really concerned about this little stinker – pun intended – because of its devastating effect on a wide range of vegetables and fruits. It has the potential to adversely impact Utah fruit and vegetable growers and may very well find comfort feeding on your garden plants too. Furthermore, it likes to aggregate around and invade buildings in the fall to overwinter (remind you of anything – say box elder bugs) and gives off a stinky odor when disturbed. So please familiarize yourself with and be on the look-out for this stinker of a house guest. If you think you have found one, please contact your local Extension office to report it. Here is the full factsheet on the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug.