Stink marmorated bugs caused $37 million in losses in 2010, and now the crises has spread to 38 states, but a new 2012 farm bill promises to help crops and continue research.
The insect has ruined apple, peach and grape crops across the eastern portion of the United States has now spread to 38 states, including as far away as Oregon’s apple orchards.
In the US House’s recently-passed farm bill, is a measure that allocates $831,000 to research the bug and what can be done to eradicate the brown-marmorated stink bug, which originally came from Asia.
According to the Washington Examiner, scientists are looking at using a tiny species of Chinese bee to go after the stink bugs. The bee lays its eggs inside eggs of the stink bugs, killing them.
According to the House bill, the bugs are causing “significant damage to agricultural products, particularly the apple crop in mid-Atlantic states.”
The Examiner article notes that owners of grape vineyards in Virginia are upset with the spread of the bug, saying that they can ruin an entire production run of wine if even just a few of the crushed stink bugs are accidentally mixed in with the grapes.
The University of Georgia says scientists believe the stink bugs first came to the United States in shipping crates in 1998, and was first spotted in Allentown, Pa.