Latest Wisconsin Pest: Brown Marmorated Stink Bug
The hits just keep coming, in the form of more unwanted six-legged visitors whose real home is across the oceans.
A mass of invasive bugs has washed over our Mequon neighborhood Pewaukee and Wisconsin in the past two decades: the emerald ash borer and gypsy moth to name a few. All are resident to foreign countries. All have caused environmental and economic mayhem in the United States, where no natural predators exist to control them.
The most recent invader winging its way here will literally make a smell.
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 migrating west since being first discovered in Pennsylvania in 2001.
Its name is well-deserved. When smushed or crushed, the brown marmorated stink bug emits an awful, nasty you'd invite into your Mequon home, right?
Fortunately, the brown marmorated insect hasn't arrived in large numbers in Mequon 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 cousin 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 Mequon homes. If you step on one, you'll figure it out quickly. The nose knows. If you see more in your Mequon house or yard, don't smush them – contact The Mosquito Guy to address their presence in a safe, non-stinky fashion. Unlike these insects, we'll never stink up your joint.