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Stink Bugs Emerge as Problematic Pest in Mid-Atlantic States

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Although they don't bite, they are a nuisance because they can creep into almost any room and smell slightly skunk-like when crushed.

| September 27, 2010

Bed bugs have a new challenger as pest of the year. Stink bugs are proliferating in the Middle Atlantic states, damaging fruit and vegetable crops. They don't bite but they're gross people out because they can creep into almost any room and smell slightly skunk-like when crushed.

Farmers in Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and other states report that stink bugs are leaving dry bore holes in their crops, and the damage is reaching critical levels this year, reports The New York Times.
"They're taking money out of your pocket, just like a thief," Richard Masser, whose Scenic View Orchards in Sabillasville, Md. has lost 20% of its apples to the pest, tells the Times. "We need to stop them."
 
The problem, the story says, is that no one quite knows how to. Native to Asia, the stink bug was first found in Allentown, Pa., in 1998 and appears to have no natural enemies here. More research is needed to understand, for example, why the bugs reproduced at a faster rate this year.
 
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