Latest Wisconsin Insect: Brown Marmorated Stink Bug
The hits just keep coming, in the form of more unwelcomed six-legged visitors whose real home is across the seas.
A mass of annoying insects has washed over our McHenry County neighborhood Pewaukee and Wisconsin in the past 2 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 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 journeying 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, creature you'd invite into your McHenry County home, right?
Fortunately, the brown marmorated insect hasn't arrived in great 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 hate them for more than their odor. 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 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 your house. If you smush one, you'll figure it out quickly. The nose knows. If you see more in your McHenry 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 bugs, we'll never stink up your joint.