LANHAM, Md. — Not only is the government shutdown causing problems for furloughed federal employees, it’s also indirectly benefitting one of nature’s nuances: stink bugs, CBS news reports.
Chris Bergh, an entomologist working at Virginia Tech, said this year’s stink bug numbers could be on par with 2010, which was the initial outbreak year, and that the government shutdown isn’t helping.
That’s because government-funded research into finding ways to control the bugs’ booming population is on hiatus. Scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture who are in charge of tracking and documenting the bugs aren’t allowed to work during the shutdown, which is now in its third week.
Begh said the shutdown has “disrupted our ability to interact directly with the project director” at the USDA, which is coordinating the “multi-state, multi-institution project.” He also said that applications for new research grants are threatened due to the shutdown.