Stinkbugs in Maryland

Posted: August 24, 2013 in Articles
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About three years ago in 2010, farmers around our area experienced a problem with a brown species of stink bug that are known as Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs. These stink bugs originally came from Korea and Taiwan, whereas green colored stink bugs are native to the Old World as well as the New World. Anyway, in 2010, it wasn’t just farmers that had a problem with these stink bugs. We had problems as did everybody who lived around us.

Around 2010, stink bugs started covering the sides of our house in late summer. When we went outside, we always had to look out for flying stink bugs to make sure they didn’t get into the house. While we were walking through our garage, they were all over the place – on the ground, on the ceiling, flying, on our bicycles, everywhere. Just outside our garage, if you looked up at the side of the house, there were tons of stinkbugs – flying off the house, flying onto the house, and sitting on the siding. This wasn’t necessarily a problem, but it was a little annoying.

It did become a little more problematic when they started to come into the house in autumn. Most of them, we didn’t know how they got it, but you always had to be ready to run and get some toilet paper or a Kleenex to dispose of a stink bug. We had to pick them up and not squash them because they smelled bad if we did. We also couldn’t vacuum them up for the same reason. Since it was autumn, we had to take out the air conditioners in the windows (we didn’t have central air yet) and when we did, stinkbugs came flying out of the inside part of the window and into the house. Unfortunately for Dink and me, it was particularly bad in our room. We had to kill a lot of stink bugs that year – probably hundreds of them. Good thing they’re so slow and unawares, or we would have had a much harder time of it.

Our neighbors also had trouble with dozens of stink bugs clinging to their siding. I think one friend of ours used soapy water to knock them down and kill them. People came up with a lot of remedies for controlling stink bugs and thankfully, there are a lot less of them now. There are still a lot, but it is definitely not as bad as it was a couple of years back. The pictures up top are some Brown Marmorated Stink Bug nymphs under a leaf with one adult among them. I took another picture of two stinkbugs together on a leaf. One is an adult and the other is a nymph in its fourth nymphal stage so you can see the difference. The adult is the one on the right. At first, we thought that the nymphs were another species of stinkbug, but it turns out that they are just a younger version. There are a lot of them on our tomatoes….

by John

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