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Invasive Stinkbug Population May Be Ready To Explode on East Coast

Where's the big stink? It is in all lower 48 states, but the East Coast can expect to get stink-bombed especially hard.

Stink bugs may hit the country with a foul explosion. Photo Credit: University of MD Extension.
Stink bugs may hit the country with a foul explosion. Photo Credit: University of MD Extension.
By Todd Richissin

If you notice a foul smell in your house, then notice your dog looking a bit sheepish, don't blame the pet. Blame the stink bugs, which are making a comeback in New Jersey and most other parts of the country.

"We're really expecting a bigger crop of stink bugs in the region coming into 2013," Mike Raupp, entomologist at the University of Maryland, told WTOP, a radio station in Washington, D.C.

The little, brown marmorated stink bugs are only about the size of pumpkin seeds, but they cause a big stink when crushed. Thank Asia for that. They are an invasive species and arrived from there on our shores in the mid 1990s.

The East Coast is predicted to take the brunt of the stink bug population explosion, according to StopBMSB.org, a research project funded by the United States Department of Agriculture's Specialty Crop Research Initiative.

And the states with the perfect climate for stinkbugs, says StopBMSB.org, are New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia. The website goes on to site New Jersey among the states where there have been "Severe agricultural and nuisance problems reported."

More than 100 diverse plant species are at risk of attack from these stinkbugs, according to StopBMSB.org. You can check out the full list of host plants for stinkbugs by clicking here.

In addition to being annoying, stink bugs can beat up crops. GrowingProduce.com reports that in 2010 the stink bugs ravaged peach and apple orchards in the Mid-Atlantic region.

What do you think? Have you seen more of these little critters around your house and garden? Share what you've seen in the comment section below!

— Michael D'Onofrio contributed to this article. 

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