Will They Survive?

bmsb_blogby Jennifer Fullenkamp, Sustainable Plant Systems major

I recently moved and noticed that there were a lot of brown marmorated stink bugs. I thought that it was just something with the house until I talked with some family members and friends. They too have noticed a rise in these stink bugs.

These bugs are a nasty pest with a strong, foul odor. Right when you think you disposed of the unpleasant critters, another is found right after the other. Unfortunately there is no good way to rid yourself of them. My mother and I have been finding them left and right, in every nook and cranny. A piece of advice: try to find where they are entering the house and block their entrance.

These little pests were first discovered in the U.S. in 2001. Since then, they have become an agronomical and house pest without many predators to control them or any insecticide to kill them.

Because they are not being picky eaters, the stink bug can cause a lot of damage on several varieties of plants (many fruit crops, common landscape plants and crops such as soybean and corn). The bugs eat the fruit and the leaves on plants, leaving behind perforated and destroyed crops and ornamental plants that cannot be used or sold.

I am fearful that marmorated stink bugs are going to be a pest that will take over and destroy a lot of food crops and ornamental plants that I work with every day. I dread what the world’s and my future might look like in the horticultural and floricultural industry in the next decade.

Still, there is one question that keeps playing through my mind. “What plants will survive this pesky pest?”

For more information on the marmorated stink bug:
Ohioline – Brown Marmorated Stink Bug fact sheet (pdf)

This blog post was an assignment for  Societal Issues: Pesticides, Alternatives and the Environment (PLNTPTH 4597). The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the class, Department of Plant Pathology or the instructor.


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