HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) — The federal government is committing $5.7 million toward non-chemical defenses against the brown marmorated stink bug.
Rep. Roscoe Bartlett announced the grant Friday to the Agriculture Department. The Maryland Republican has taken a leading role in pursuing solutions to what he calls “the bug from hell.”
Bartlett says the money will fund research on pheromone-based traps, predatory insects and other alternatives to chemical insecticides.
Environmental regulators granted fruit growers in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia an emergency exemption to use the insecticide dinotefuran in their orchards this year.
Bartlett says the compound helped reduce crop damage but increased production costs sharply.
He says an integrated approach to pest management would allow growers to use fewer chemicals and more natural controls.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)