Stink bug discovered in Duluth could mean bad news for farmers


An invasive pest known to wreak havoc on East Coast crops has showed up in northern Minnesota.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture confirmed the brown marmorated stink bug, or Asian stink bug, was detected in St. Louis County for the first time. The pest was originally collected in January 2011 inside a Duluth home by a UMD biology student, the Duluth News Tribune reports.

The bug first arrived in the United States with a shipment of imported products from Asian in the late 1990s.

The pests are compared to home invaders in Minnesota like lady bugs or boxelder bugs. But when disturbed, the bug releases a foul-smelling odor.

Stink bugs take refugue indoors in the winter while the populations build. When the weather becomes warmer, they'll take to crops.

According to National Geographic, the stink bug is notorious for devouring more than a half dozen North American crops, from peaches to peppers.

In 2010, stink bugs did an estimated $37 million damage to apples in the mid-Atlantic states, a Chambersburg, PA newspaper said.

For now, pesticides are used to ward off the pests. The USDA is looking at the possibility of using a parasitic wasp from Asia that thrives on destroying the stink bugs.

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