A new pest called the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug is spreading in Oregon counties, threatening agricultural crops. It attacks all kinds of fruits, veggies and ornamentals in the warm season; in the colder months, you might find it climbing up south-facing walls or into your living room looking for shelter. Metro Natural Gardening Expert Carl Grimm shared nontoxic tips for keeping stink bugs out of your home.
Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs
• New pest of gardens and farms in the US.
• Asian bug first spotted locally in Portland’s Ladd’s Edition and in Washington County in 2004, and has spread to many other counties threatening Oregon’s fruits and other specialty crops.
• Destructive relative of our dozens of benign and beneficial native stink bug species. It is mottled brown, bulbous (not skinny), has striped antennae and smooth shoulders.
• Smells kind of skunky when threatened or crushed (it’s a natural defense mechanism).
• Crawling indoors for shelter about now, can also be seen on south and west facing walls, in attics, sheds and garages.
• Not harmful to humans, pets, structures or wildlife, but do feed on hundreds of different plants including fruits, vegetables and ornamentals.
• No need to spray, just suck ‘em up in a vacuum and toss in the trash.
• To keep them out, seal entry points under doors and around windows with weather stripping, screens, caulk or flashing.
• If they arrive in large numbers next year during the growing season and are damaging your fruits and vegetables, you may want to use a floating row cover to protect smaller plants. Otherwise, control options are being researched now so you will want to seek out the latest information.
To learn more now or later, give us a call at Metro at 234-3000.