Tuesday, September 07, 2010
By Monica Von Dobeneck, The Harrisburg Patriot-News
Photo: Mel Evans/Associated Press
HARRISBURG -- Last year, the insects called brown marmorated stink bugs were a nuisance. This year, they are a serious threat to fruit orchards, and experts are not sure how destructive they might become.
The ubiquitous brown bugs with a citrusy or piney scent are making their way into Pennsylvania homes, previewing the hordes likely to appear late this month and next as the weather cools.
Bloggers share ideas about getting rid of them: Flush them down the toilet, vacuum them up, drop them in a bucket of soapy water, squash them, stick them to duct tape.
They are annoying in homes but don't do much damage. They don't bite people or destroy wood.
To farmers, they have become a destructive pest.
Greg Krawczyk, an entomologist with the Penn State University Fruit Research Center in Biglerville, said some fruit orchards have lost 40 percent of their crops to the bugs. The hardest hit are in Adams County, northern Maryland and West Virginia.