New stink bug invading WisconsinAn invasive species of stink bug has hitchhiked its way to Wisconsin.
By: Kristen Durst, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
An invasive species of stink bug has hitchhiked its way to Wisconsin. The pest is expected to cause some big problems for farmers and homeowners in the coming years.
Wisconsin already has some species of stink bugs -- some are pests, some are beneficial. But none of them are anything like the Asian variety, the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug. It's invaded the East Coast and recently was discovered in Wisconsin.
Phil Pellitteri runs UW-Madison's insect diagnostic lab. He says it's only a matter of time -- possibly three to four years -- until the stink bug hits the state with full force.
"This is one of those classic non-native invasive species where they have really no natural enemies, so their populations explode to levels that you wouldn't expect in a balanced system," says Pelliterri. He says that there are two main reasons why the Asian stink bug is loathed. It invades homes in the fall en masse, similar to the Asian Lady Beetle, sometimes wintering in walls and attics. And he says it decimates certain crops.
"In fruit such as apples, in peaches, and now there's even reports of it being somewhat detrimental to corn. We see it on green beans, it will also feed on peppers,” Pellliterri says. “It was devastating enough that in some of the eastern states they had better than 50 percent fruit loss."
And true to its name, the stink bug actually does stink. It lets off an odor when threatened -- an odor that can linger in a home for days. Pelliterri says researchers are looking into biological controls, but he says pesticides will likely be the main line of defense.