BALTIMORE (WJZ) — They’ve been bugging people all winter long. But the Maryland homes Asian stink bugs have been sheltering in are poised to become the launching pads for a full-scale invasion.
Alex DeMetrick reports the attack could hit local crops hard.
For a foreign invader, Asian stink bugs have been making themselves at home all winter in Maryland. For some, it’s been a last stop. But only some.
“I hate those stink bugs. They live all winter. I’m still picking them out of the house,” said Janet.
“The spring’ll bring a load of ‘em,” said Dennis.
What’s crossed our paths at home will soon be heading back outdoors to mate in massive numbers.
“Some entomologists have been quoted to say it will be biblical. So it will almost be like a plague,” said Dr. Paula Shrewsbury, University of Maryland.
By the end of March, stink bugs will be with us in force, and they’ll come hungry.
What feeds them in the lab will soon be feeding them on Maryland farms. Most fruits and vegetables are vulnerable. And not long after orchards bloom, Asian stink bugs will be arriving. They did last year.
“We have apple growers in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia that have lost 80 percent of their crop due to this,” Shrewsbury said. “Growers have had family farms for multiple generations say if we can’t help them control this pest, they may lose their crops.”
That makes this bug more than just a nuisance for Maryland.
It’s believed Asian stink bugs arrived five years ago by cargo container to the Mid-Atlantic. They have no natural predator.