Marmorated Stink Bug

These days, a discussion of invasive species in Maryland would not be complete if it didn't mention the marmorated stink bug!

Marmorated Stink Bug
David R. Lance, USDA, “Marmorated Brown
Stink Bug Adult
” October 1, 2010 via Wikimedia
Commons, Creative Commons Attribution.

Description

According to Penn State's Brown Marmorated Stink Bug page, the first reported sighting in the US was in 1998, although the bug was most likely introduced into eastern Pennsylvania several years before then. In a few short years, the marmorated stink bug has spread rapidly, now infesting large areas in the northern part of Maryland. The bug's shield-shaped body resembles native stink bugs, but with different coloration. The marmorated stink bug has blue or copper-colored patches on its back. Marmorated stink bugs emit an unpleasant odor when crushed. In the fall, the bugs seek the warmth of human homes, often "hanging out" on warm walls and windows.

The Threat

The marmorated stink bug has become a household pest in many areas in Maryland. Penn State says that the bugs enter homes through cracks around doors, windows, and pipes. Some homeowners in Mount Airy, Maryland, have removed thousands of the bugs from their homes this year. According to Penn State, the bug has also become an agricultural pest. It causes damage to crops such as apples, peaches, and corn.

Control and Removal

Penn State advises homeowners to seal cracks that allow stink bugs to enter the home. Homeowners can vacuum the bugs, but the vacuum may carry the bugs' odor for a long time. Penn State does not advise the use of pesticides to treat stink bugs in the home.