Bug Raises Stink

A request for sightings of the brown marmorated stink bug brought a flood of responses to the state's extension offices. Specialists say they now have plenty of information.

Published on: Nov 12, 2010
With the help of homeowners, Ohio State University Extension entomologists have compiled plenty of statewide data on the brown marmorated stink bug, a relatively new pest to Ohio that not only damages crops but takes up overwintering residence in homes.

"From the data we've received so far, we know that Ohio is inundated with the stink bug," says OSU Extension entomologist Ron Hammond. "At this time, we have enough data to work with, so we no longer need assistance. But we greatly appreciate the help we've received from homeowners in our research efforts."

OSU Extension county offices have been overwhelmed with phone calls and e-mails in recent weeks from homeowners reporting the presence of the brown marmorated stink bug in their homes.

Researchers are interested in tracking the range of the pest in order to develop ways to control the insect and prevent it from damaging crops or populating homes.

"Numbers can reach into the hundreds, even the thousands," says Hammond, who also holds a research appointment with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. "Our colleagues in other states have indicated that damaging populations often occur about two years after the insect is first discovered in an area."

The brown marmorated stink bug looks just like the more common brown stink bug, but has a black and white-banded antennae and black and white bands around the edge of its body. To learn more about the insect, log on to entomology.osu.edu/ag/images/Marmorated_Stink_Bug.pdf.