Latest Wisconsin Insect: Brown Marmorated Stink Bug
The hits just keep coming, in the form of more unwanted 6-legged visitors whose real home is across the waters.
A surge of invasive species has washed over our Lake County neighborhood Pewaukee and Wisconsin in the past two decades: the Japanese beetle and gypsy moth to name a few. All are native to foreign countries. All have caused environmental and economic mayhem in the U.S., where no natural predators exist to control them.
The most recent invader winging its way here will literally make a stink.
The brown marmorated stink bug is ¾-inch long, with a wide back side that tapers to a point, and a rectangular head with long antennae. Native to China and east Asia, the insect has been traveling west since being first discovered in Pennsylvania in 2001.
Its name is well-earned. When smushed or crushed, the brown marmorated stink bug emits a strong, nasty you'd invite into your Lake County home, right?
Fortunately, the brown marmorated stink bug hasn't arrived in great numbers in Lake County or Wisconsin. Stink bug control isn't much of an issue yet. Yet it's only a matter of time.
Farmers abhor them for more than their smell. The stink bug feast on tree fruits, vegetables, sweet corn and soybeans. Mid-Atlantic apple growers sustained an estimated $37 million in crop losses in 2010 to marmorated stink bugs.
The Asian invasive has a family member that is native to the United States. The insect looks a lot like the brown marmorated version, except the colors of their undersides are different. We somehow doubt you'll get that far identifying them, though.
Brown marmorated stink bugs like to winter inside Lake County homes. If you step on one, you'll figure it out quickly. The nose knows. If you see more in your Lake County home or yard, don't step on them – contact The Mosquito Guy to address their presence in a safe, non-stinky fashion. Unlike these bugs, we'll never stink up your joint.