Latest WI Pest: Brown Marmorated Stink Bug
The hits just keep coming, in the form of more uninvited six-legged visitors whose real home is across the seas.
A surge of annoying bugs 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 innate to foreign countries. All have caused environmental and economic havoc 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 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 migrating west since being first discovered in Pennsylvania in 2001.
Its name is well-deserved. When smushed or stepped on, the brown marmorated stink bug emits a strong, pungent you'd invite into your Lake County house, right?
Fortunately, the brown marmorated insect hasn't arrived in large 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 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 cousin that is native to the U.S. 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 Lake County your house. 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-smelly fashion. Unlike these insects, we'll never stink up your joint.