Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Scientists Keep Up The Fight Against Stink Bugs

KEARNEYSVILLE, WVa, - Now that the weather's warming, you may be seeing stink bugs again. Guess what? They were in your house all winter long - hibernating. Here’s a behind the scenes look at what researchers are doing to fight back.

It may look like something out of a creepy movie, but it's the science of the stink bug.
"When they go to the light bulb on the ceiling fan or they go to the side of your house or they bounce off the television screen, they're making a decision," says Starker Wright.
Wright is a support entomologist at the Appalachian Fruit Research Station of the U.S.D.A. Agricultural Research Service. He's working on what's called a light box experiment.
"Into the box we're controlling both the wave length and the intensity of the light that comes in," said Wright.
Once a stink bug is released into the box, they wait to see if the stink bug gravitates toward a particular type of light. A stink bug that moves toward the light is an insect that would have entered a trap and been removed from the population. Right now fighting the stink bug is a major priority.
"We know that growers incurred a lot of losses last year. U.S. Apple(Association) estimated that there were 37 million dollars in losses just in apple here in the mid-Atlantic in 2010," says Dr. Tracy Leskey of the U.S.D.A.
Farmers are getting help from U.S.D.A. research. Traps are already deployed at farms and orchards in Virginia, Maryland and West Virginia. They're called pyramid traps because of their shape. The traps are black because research shows stink bugs are drawn to dark colors.
Researchers say they are learning to manage the stink bug instead of the stink bug managing all of us.

Read more:

Scientists Keep Up The Fight Against Stink Bugs


  1. In July, I am returning to Georgia after two years in Chester County, PA. Stink bugs are all over the place up here, and they frequently find a way indoors. I do not want to hasten their spread throughout the South by inadvertently bringing them home in packed boxes or clothing. Do you have any resources or suggestions for ways to avoid this?