The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug
In the past few years, the invasive Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) has gained prevalence in the Northeastern United States. What exactly is meant by invasive? An invasive species is any organism that gains entry to a region it is not native to, and subsequently becomes a pest.
Originally from China, this insect invader made its way to the United States, where it has become a serious agricultural pest in the Mid-Atlantic States. While agricultural entomologists continue to monitor its population and spread, average citizens are beginning to notice it in their homes. Within the home, the BMSB poses no direct threat to humans, their pets, or their food. However, it is considered to be a household nuisance.
Much like ladybeetles, just about every homeowner can find the BMSB in the corners of their ceiling, inside lamps, and on windowsills. In the Fall, the BMSB gains entry to our homes through cracks and crevices because they want to find a warm place to spend the winter. You’ll notice them as the weather warms up every Spring and they become active again. For those who find insects unsettling, this is an issue!
Much is being done to combat the impact of the BMSB in the United States. Natural enemies of this species, such as the Asian Wasp, are being cultured and tested as a biological means of control. Traps with BMSB-specific pheromone are being set in various locations to monitor the spread of this species. Biologists are also adamant about raising awareness about the BMSB, with websites and outreach events dedicated to spreading knowledge.
Did you know? There are many types of Stink Bugs all over the world. This group is named for their ability to, when physically disturbed, secrete a sometimes-smelly substance from their bodies which is distasteful to predators. The BMSB doesn’t necessarily smell bad, and some think it smells like raw pumpkin!
For more information check out helpful sites like Cornell Cooperative Extension and stopBMSB.org!
New York State Integrated Pest Management Program, Cornell University, The Unwelcome Houseguest: Brown Marmorated Stink Bug – A Guide for Residents, Property Managers, and Pest Management Professonals, Gangloff-Kaufmann, viewed 29 April 2015, <http://nysipm.cornell.edu/factsheets/buildings/BMSB_FS.pdf>