Stink Bugs Are Destroying Farmers’ Crops In Maryland

THURMONT, Md. (WJZ) — Maryland farms are on the verge of a food crisis.

Funding is slashed in the fight against stink bugs.  

Weijia Jiang has outrage from farmers and the far-reaching damage of the stink bug epidemic.

They’re annoying and they mate like crazy.

For Maryland farmers like Bob Black, Asian stink bugs are potentially devastating.

“This is an unbelievable thing I’ve ever seen in my life,” said Black, Catoctin Mountain Orchard.

Everything grows on his 100-acre farm in Thurmont.

“Strawberries, other berries, cherries, plums, peaches and apples,” said Black.

His produce is just what the critters are hungry for.

“If you’re a grower and you’ve smashed ’em you don’t think they stink. They make me so mad the damage they cause to my product,” said Black.

The USDA has set up traps all over Black’s farm. On a red and white tab there are pheromones to attract the stink bugs, that way they know when they’re moving in.

Like many of his colleagues, Black is banking on new research to find out how to control the pests, which for now seem immune to the most common pesticides.

Black recently found out the federal government slashed funding for a key position to study why.

Representative Roscoe Bartlett is pushing congress to dedicate funds.

“If I was a mad scientist and I was splicing genes together to create a bug that was really nasty I couldn’t do better than this,” said Bartlett.

Last year, stink bugs wiped out 20 percent of Black’s crops. With more of them now, Black is bracing for this year to be even worse.

  • john archambault

    we have to do something about these stinkbugs as a resident of nottingham and perryhall we have to get rid of these so called stink bugs. We even have them in the houses there annoying and grose i hate them bugs!!!

  • Bullfrog

    I would not recommend this for others but I simple use bleach in a spray bottle, it will kill them in a minute or two and in the meantime it disables them.

    • Gary George

      did this yesterday and within a minute the bug just rolled over , next im going to try the other ways described below

  • kathy

    omg its seems like they are taking over if its as bad as last year i need to see my doc for some meds cause i will be a lunatic

  • Ronald G Miner Jr

    There is a pesticide that works that the Federal government has banned that can destroy them. This could be over in a matter of a few weeks but the government wont allow it…DDT

  • rebecca

    use soap water. heavy on the soap so the water turns the color of your soap. a few sprays and they die right away. i used this last year and it worked wonderfully. I use Dawn soap, the blue kind so I know i have the right mixture.

    • Cathy

      I agree with that due to using dawn also and mixing it with water it seems to kill them. I have a small dish beside my sink and when I put them in there it seems to kill them very quickly.

  • Annoyed

    Does anyone edit or even give a single proofread to these articles? It is full of grammar and punctuation mistakes!

    • George

      People are obviously frustrated and vent without adding extra time to punctuate or be politically correct. You know it’s like your TV, if you don’t like the programing, don’t tune in. Of course there are those of us who would certainly like to choose for all if given the opportunity. Lighten Up

      • Judith

        George, you are moronic- she was talking about the article, not the comments! The professionalism on WJZ has been slipping for some time!

  • sheriffwillie

    Stink bugs are also destroying our city & surrounding counties. It’s called Black thug gangster wannabes.

  • Doug

    If we could only get the stink bugs to acquire a taste
    for Illegal aliens

    • baltimorelady617

      Can’t stop laughing!

  • marian

    dear annoyed

    do like i do and make a game of it. this way it won’t drive you crazy. as for the stink bugs, vinegar water works just as well and doesn’t stain the walls.

  • Jill Messier

    Just yesterday, we vacuumed 500 bugs off of our ceilings. If anyone thinks that this is just a nuisance, they need to come spend a day at my house! We had hundreds of them dropping off of our ceilings all winter long. My nightmare is, that one will drop into my handicapped sons mouth and he will choke!! Please pass research funding, at least we can exterminate for roaches, ants, rats,etc.!!

    • Judith

      How the hell do you have hundreds in your house? That’s horrible! Keep the windows and doors shut and seal cracks. It’s not THAT hard to keep them out of the house- on patios and outside is another story. I hope you can get them out!

  • lynn

    Last year when they first moved in the house i put an open jar of soapy palmolive dish soap & water and set it in the kitchen sink the bugs stayed out of the sink! they were out in full force yesterday ahhhhhhhh i hate them.i again made the soapy water & put in bathroom sink too. they stayed away.this morning i dumped out the water& 3 were in the sink with 5 more headed in. take some clean toilet paper catch the bug & squash with pliars. flush them down the toilet and i guarantee they’ll be gone.!!! i never killed abug before…

  • sheriffwillie

    Lynn, You Murderer!


    On my farm in Taneytown, we have very few stinkbugs or mosquitoes. I guess it is because the Scobee ducks that we have eat them and their eggs.

  • fraught

    Funny thing, not one article yet seems to tell us exactly what they do to the crops besides “damage”. Funnier yet? Nobody on this comment list is even asking. No one seems to know and no one cares about being ignorant of the facts. Simply amazing.

    • Judith

      Are you unable to view the video? The farmer clearly explains that the bugs suck the juices out of the fruits and leave damaged (dry and brown) areas of the fruit. Those areas need to be cut out of the fruit before eating and if it is extensive, you won’t have much of an apple left! Like he said, people don’t want to buy fruit that has brown, juiceless spots that need to be cut out before eating- especially since it is due to a BUG’S mouth sucking out the juice!

  • Kenny B

    These Bugs are RIDICULOUS!!!!

  • Doug

    What’s wrong with good old fashion DDT ?
    Then spray Agent Orange around the perimeter of the crop field,
    so as to leave the stink bugs with nothing to eat.
    Hence,they’ll stave to death.
    Case closed.
    Your welcome.

  • Strube

    We can help! Our stink bug light traps work excellent. stinkbugtrapsonline. com check us out and please spread the word! Thank you.

  • steve

    I only get them on a porch which has some obvious gaps and entries. I rarely see them inside, but they are everyewhere outside. Huhdreds inside means you have a hole somewhere. The issue that worries me is that last year I didnt start seeing them until mid september. It is April and I just killed 10 of them on my porch today. I believe someone will pass a law to let them be killed with DDT eventually. The problem is a federal ban on DDT by the EPA. Indivudual states cant allow it is my understanding.

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