Latest Wisconsin Insect: 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 invasive bugs has washed over our Racine County neighborhood Pewaukee and Wisconsin in the past two decades: the Japanese beetle and gypsy moth to name a few. All are resident 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 disturbed or stepped on, the brown marmorated stink bug emits an awful, nasty you'd invite into your Racine County home, right?
Fortunately, the brown marmorated stink bug hasn't arrived in large numbers in Racine 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 stink. 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 U.S. 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 Racine County homes. If you crack one, you'll figure it out quickly. The nose knows. If you see more in your Racine County house 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.