Latest WI Insect: Brown Marmorated Stink Bug
The hits just keep coming, in the form of more uninvited 6-legged visitors whose real home is across the oceans.
A surge of annoying bugs has washed over our McHenry County neighborhood Pewaukee and Wisconsin in the past two decades: the emerald ash borer and gypsy moth to name a few. All are innate to foreign countries. All have caused environmental and economic mayhem in the United States, where no natural predators exist to control them.
The latest invader winging its way here will literally make a stink.
The brown marmorated insect 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 journeying west since being first discovered in Pennsylvania in 2001.
Its name is well-earned. When smushed or stepped on, the brown marmorated stink bug emits an awful, nasty you'd invite into your McHenry County house, right?
Fortunately, the brown marmorated insect hasn't arrived in large numbers in McHenry County or Wisconsin. Stink bug control isn't much of an issue yet. Yet it's only a matter of time.
Farmers dislike them for more than their odor. The stink bug feed 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 relative that is native to the United States. The brown stink bug 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 McHenry County homes. If you step on one, you'll figure it out quickly. The nose knows. If you see more in your McHenry County home or yard, don't crush them – contact The Mosquito Guy to address their presence in a safe, non-smelly fashion. Unlike these insects, we'll never stink up your joint.