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Yes, There ARE Fewer Stink Bugs This Year

Have you noticed there are fewer Stink Bugs around this year? Robbie Harris reports on why that it is, and what we might expect, going forward. 

Not only in Virginia, but throughout the mid-Atlantic region, scientists have seen a downward trend in the number of Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs. Cilantro scented when crushed, the invasive insects normally invade buildings this time of year.

But the bugs have been under attack on several fronts, and that multi-pronged approach finally seems to be working, says USDA researcher Tracy Lesky.  

“We have an Asian parasitoid that evolved with Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, Trissolcus japonicus, now present throughout much of the region. This insect, which lays its eggs in the eggs of the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, showed up a few years ago,”  Lesky says.

And it’s been slowly eviscerating its much larger host in a surprising way.

“TJ the Stink Bug Slayer” is commonly known as the Samurai Wasp. Scientists imported them here had them under quarantine for study before considering releasing them into the wild.  But the teeny insect, at just point-five millimeters, sneaked in on its own and resumed its deadly relationship with the potential progeny of stink bugs.

Robbie Harris is based in Blacksburg, covering the New River Valley and southwestern Virginia.
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