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  1. #1
    Sweet Tea C Seeker's Avatar
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    Angry Stinkbugs are invading!!!

    I have recently visted Jim and Molley Shelter in Va, and there was stickbugs everywhere. I then opened the log book but to find 50-100 on one page I then here Manasses gap shelter is also having a problem Just a warning that they are invading and shelters are not very pleasenant anymore and all you can do is drowned them in water and soap.

  2. #2
    Needs More Beer GracefulRoll's Avatar
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    This has been a big problem for the past few years in VA. This year alone I think I found 200 on the back wall of my house. :/ Heard reports about them in shelters this year on the trail, too.

    So gross. Not only do they stink, but I swear they bite.
    Man is only half himself,
    The other half is a bright thing.
    He tumbles on by luck or grace,
    For man is ever a blind thing.

  3. #3
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    Are you guys talking about the big black beetle or the other one? I see the former a lot, but haven't noticed the smell although I've prodded quite a few to get them to spray.

  4. #4
    Needs More Beer GracefulRoll's Avatar
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    The ones here in VA are mostly brown marmorated stink bugs.
    Man is only half himself,
    The other half is a bright thing.
    He tumbles on by luck or grace,
    For man is ever a blind thing.

  5. #5

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    They must be moving south for the winter. Shelters in Pa. had a fair amount when I hiked there 2 weeks ago.
    As I live, declares the Lord God, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn back from his way and live. Ezekiel 33:11

  6. #6
    Needs More Beer GracefulRoll's Avatar
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    Yeah, they have been growing in numbers here for years, but this year was particularly bad.

    I remember when I was living in New England I would get calls from family here in VA about stink bugs in, on, and around the house, in the garage, on cars, in cars, plants, etc.

    This year? Horrid! They attack!
    Man is only half himself,
    The other half is a bright thing.
    He tumbles on by luck or grace,
    For man is ever a blind thing.

  7. #7

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    I read on a lot of gardening websites and they're always talking about how destructive stinkbugs are, especially on sunflowers. I have yet to see the destruction, although they really do love the sunflowers, I see them on no other plant when I have sunflowers, especially in bloom, but I can’t see any negative effects.

    Beetles are my major problem in the garden, especially on the sunflowers; they will burrow into them and destroy large swaths of seeds.

    Never been bitten by a stinkbug, despite handling them quit a bit (out of curiosity). I’ve never smelled a stinkbug, as I understand the stink-issue, it’s only an issue when they are crushed. But even then I wonder how pervasive the smell is, seems like being outdoors would carry away much of the stench.

    They probably are capable of biting, but like I said, never been bitten by one, despite handling them. However, I’ve been bitten by lady bugs – that’s strange, I’ve never heard of any one being bit by a lady bug, but I have, but I don’t kill them since they’re suppose to be good to the garden.

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    They are good in tacos. Not kidding!
    Simple is good.

  9. #9
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    They are a big problem here in Berks county just south of Hamburg. I work in Allentown and have not noticed them. That would be interesting if they bite.

  10. #10

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    I just read an interesting article about them. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/27/us/27stinkbug.html

    SABILLASVILLE, Md. — When they retreated from the Battle of Gettysburg, Confederate troops passed by the area that is now Richard Masser’s orchards. If only the latest enemy — the brown marmorated stink bug — would follow suit.

    Damage to fruit and vegetable crops from stink bugs in Middle Atlantic states has reached critical levels, according to a government report. That is in addition to the headaches the bugs are giving homeowners who cannot keep them out of their living rooms — especially the people who unwittingly step on them. When stink bugs are crushed or become irritated, they emit a pungent odor that is sometimes described as skunklike.

    Suddenly, the bedbug has competition for pest of the year.
    Farmers in Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and other states are battling a pest whose appetite has left dry boreholes in everything from apples and grapes to tomatoes and soybeans. Stink bugs have made their mark on 20 percent of the apple crop at Mr. Masser’s Scenic View Orchards here. Other farmers report far worse damage.

    “They’re taking money out of your pocket, just like a thief,” said Mr. Masser, flicking stink bugs off his shirt and baseball cap as he overlooked his 325 acres, a few miles south of the Pennsylvania border. “We need to stop them.”

    No one seems to know how. Government and university researchers say they need more time to study the bug, which has been in the United States since about 1998. Native to Asia, it was first found in Allentown, Pa., and has no natural enemies here.

    Some people noticed an increase in the stink bug population last year, but all agreed that this year’s swarm was out of control. Researchers say the bugs reproduced at a faster rate this year, but they are unsure why.

    “These are the hot spots right now, but they’re spreading everywhere,” Mr. Masser said. “They even found them out in Oregon.”

    Populations of the brown marmorated stink bug — different from the green stink bugs that are kept in check by natural predators here — have been found in 15 states, and specimens in 14 other states, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

    The bug travels well, especially as it seeks warm homes before the onset of cold weather.

    “It’s an incredible hitchhiker,” said Tracy Leskey, an entomologist with the Agriculture Department’s Appalachian Fruit Research Station in Kearneysville, W.Va. “The adults are moving and looking for places to spend the winter.”

    The research station is among three laboratories looking for a solution. Government and university researchers also formed a working group this summer. But Kevin Hackett, national program leader for invasive insects for the Agriculture Department’s research arm, said no immediate solution was in sight.

    “We need to do considerable more research to solve the problem,” he said. “We don’t even have a way to monitor the pests. I’m confident that we have excellent researchers. I’m not confident we’re going to find a solution immediately.”

    The department is spending $800,000 this fiscal year on stink bug research, double last year’s budget, Mr. Hackett said. But he estimated that seven more full-time researchers were needed, at a cost of about $3.5 million a year for salaries and research expenses.

    In Asia, a parasitic wasp helps control stink bug populations by attacking their eggs. Unleashing those wasps here, however, is at least several years away because they would first need to be quarantined and studied.

    There has been limited success using black pyramid traps in orchards, Ms. Leskey said. The traps contain scents that trigger sexual arousal. The nymphs, or young bugs, respond seasonlong, Ms. Leskey wrote in a recent report, but adults respond only late in the season, in late August.

    Representative Roscoe G. Bartlett, Republican of Maryland, convened a meeting last week of officials from the Agriculture Department and the Environmental Protection Agency. He is pushing to have the stink bug reclassified, which would allow farmers to use stronger pesticides, and is advocating that the Agriculture Department reallocate $3 million of its budget for research.

    A problem that can arise when more pesticides are used, experts and farmers say, is that many years’ worth of effective “integrated pest management” can be ruined in the process. Farmers kill some pests but allow others to live because they prey on yet other pests. Wasps, for example, eat worms that otherwise would kill crops.

    “It is a way to use nature’s own defenses against pests in orchards,” said Steve Jacobs, an urban entomologist at Pennsylvania State University.

    “That’s been finely tuned and works well. This brown marmorated stink bug blows all that out the window. You kill them today, new ones come tomorrow. So this is a serious problem.”

    Meanwhile, homeowners in the region are coping with this latest nuisance.

    Vicky Angell of Thurmont, Md., said she first noticed the stink bugs last year, but “not in flocks” like this summer. She kills about six a day and suspects that they get inside her home when she leaves the door open to let the dog out.

    Ms. Angell said she flushes them down the toilet after catching them in a napkin. Other people use their vacuum. And many have turned to exterminators.

    Stink bugs, whose backs resemble knights’ shields, do not bite humans and pose no known health hazards — even the fruit they have gotten to is edible, once the hardened parts are cut out. They leave small craters on the surface of an apple or pear, and the inside can get brown and corklike. Females can grow to nearly the size of a quarter. “Marmorated” refers to their marbled or streaked appearance.

    Still, sometimes they are just too close for comfort. Ms. Angell said she got a surprise when she put on her pants Friday morning, having washed them and left them to dry in her laundry room.

    She felt something in the right rear pocket.

    “I thought I left a piece of paper in them when I washed them,” she said.
    But it was not paper.

    “Pulled it out. He was alive. Stink bug. Flushed him down the toilet,” she said. “I thought, I’m glad I didn’t sit on that.”

    Kelli Wilson of Burkittsville, Md., said her home had been overrun by the bugs, especially in the past week. In the afternoon sun, the north-facing exterior of the house “is black with stink bugs,” she said. “It looks like the wall is crawling.”

    Mrs. Wilson’s husband, Raymond, skipped services on Sunday at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Burkittsville to remove stink bugs from the house. Mrs. Wilson discovered a little hitchhiker as she and her children arrived at the church. “I just pulled into the parking lot and there’s one on my purse,” she said. “They travel with me now.”

    Mr. Jacobs, the urban entomologist, said the response to stink bugs so far is not an overreaction. “I’m standing here in my living room watching some of them crawl up my walls,” he said. “The best thing to do is make your house as tight as possible. Use masking tape to seal around sliding glass doors, air-conditioners.”

    Mr. Masser, the Sabillasville farmer, said that he had not yet raised his prices to offset losses, but added that it was a possibility next year if a solution to the stink bug invasion was not found.

    “Stink bugs are going to destroy a lot of food — it’s just starting,” he said. “When Joe Blow starts hollering because he can’t find the food he wants, they’ll respond then.”

  11. #11

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    I've been reading some more on them and it seems they were first discovered here in 1998, although they say probably got here years before that.

    Which got me thinking: When did I first learn about stinkbugs? Seems like I've always known about them, when I saw them in my garden I knew exactly what they were. I want to say I've known about them since I was a kid, suffice it to say that was before 1998

    They seem to only be a problem when in large numbers, like what happened this year and then only to produce, other than that they're just a nuisance. I've also read how they break the skin of produce and leave a brown mark, I have noticed that on some of my tomatoes, but I still eat them, if it's bad enough I just cut away the affected area.

    To me the real question is, "Why are they swarming now?"

    And of course, "When did I first learn about the stinkbug?"

    Where were you when you first heard of the stinkbug?

  12. #12
    Sweet Tea C Seeker's Avatar
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    The stinkbugs is a dark brown color and some have a little red on there wings when they fly.
    I have never heard of a stinkbug biting someone and don't think they can.
    The reason why they are now swarming is because there is no amimals here in the US to eat them and get them under control. As they imported the stinkbugs to get rid of the lady bugs.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by C Seeker View Post
    The stinkbugs is a dark brown color and some have a little red on there wings when they fly.
    Yes, I assume we're all talking about the Brown Marmorated stinkbug, as opposed to the green stinkbug, which is kept more in check by predators.
    Quote Originally Posted by C Seeker View Post
    The reason why they are now swarming is because there is no amimals here in the US to eat them and get them under control.
    Yes there apparently is not a natural predator (other than possibly the chicken) to keep their numbers in check. However, why now, if they've been here since atleast 1998? Insects usually produce in large numbers, combine that with the fact there's virtually no predators, what took so long?
    Quote Originally Posted by C Seeker View Post
    As they imported the stinkbugs to get rid of the lady bugs.
    That's the first I've heard of that. Ladybugs are well known to be beneficial insects to gardeners. Do you have a reference?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by C Seeker View Post
    ...As they imported the stinkbugs to get rid of the lady bugs.
    Well if the lady bugs are a food source for the stinkbugs, it is beginning to make sense. For the last 2-3 years the lady bugs were swarming all over the place, similar in numbers to the stinkbugs this year. The stinkbugs just had a plentiful source of food and few predators (chickens?.. as already mentioned). So next year we're going to have swarming chickens all over the place?!
    Simple is good.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by john gault View Post
    Yes, I assume we're all talking about the Brown Marmorated stinkbug, as opposed to the green stinkbug, which is kept more in check by predators.

    Yes there apparently is not a natural predator (other than possibly the chicken) to keep their numbers in check. However, why now, if they've been here since atleast 1998? Insects usually produce in large numbers, combine that with the fact there's virtually no predators, what took so long?

    That's the first I've heard of that. Ladybugs are well known to be beneficial insects to gardeners. Do you have a reference?
    I don't think stinkbugs eat ladybugs, but it seems the compete for similar resourses. Years ago we would ge swarms of ladybugs, nothing crazy, just a bunch in the windowsills and under the deck in the fall. Now those areas are filled with stinkbugs. The more stinkbug you see in an area, the less ladybugs you see. Ladybug have always been a common sight here in PA , but I probably seen 4 or 5 all summer.

  16. #16
    Registered User jdb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinker View Post
    They must be moving south for the winter. Shelters in Pa. had a fair amount when I hiked there 2 weeks ago.

    yea I've seen flocks flying over the house!

  17. #17
    Registered User Wise Old Owl's Avatar
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    Stinkbugs were not imported deliberatly, they were brought here hiding within cardboard boxes from China, they have been accidentally introduced all over the world. When they were first recognized in Allentown years ago I can assure you they are here to stay. I also recognize that the stinkbug "might" have a lot to do with the massive shipping caused by the rise of popularity of Walmart.

    Not much will kill a stinkbug and vacume is still the preferred meathod.

    Most pest control companiies do not have an answer about how to treet stinkbugs. (except mine)
    Dogs are excellent judges of character, this fact goes a long way toward explaining why some people don't like being around them.

    Woo

  18. #18
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    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L’Amour

  19. #19
    Registered User Wise Old Owl's Avatar
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    Ouch they do not move south for the winter. They simply populate and are a light sensitive bug... They notice the difference between the light of the day and the length of the night. just after the fall equinox and before the first frost they try to find a harborage. They are looking for a spot to hide before the tempretures fall below 72 degrees... your attic is perfect place to hide and I have see homes with three or four inches of them all the way across. If your home has a contrast (white on brown) or all brown, The second floor looks like a big tree and they want to move in.
    Dogs are excellent judges of character, this fact goes a long way toward explaining why some people don't like being around them.

    Woo

  20. #20
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    I got a brother who lives in VA, he says there were tons if them in his car.
    Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread.
    -Edward Abbey

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