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Stop Stink Bug Project

The brown marmorated stink bug, a winged pest from Asia that is eating crops and infesting U.S. homes. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists are launching a campaign to ask volunteers to count the number of stink bugs in their homes. USDA-ARS photo by Stephen Ausmus.

The brown marmorated stink bug, a winged pest from Asia that is eating crops and infesting U.S. homes. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists are launching a campaign to ask volunteers to count the number of stink bugs in their homes. USDA-ARS photo by Stephen Ausmus.

Calling all insect enthusiasts and frustrated gardeners!  USDA scientists need your help in documenting Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs (BMSB) in your home. Beginning September 15th through October 15th, we’re asking citizens across the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States to record daily counts of this pest on the exterior of their homes, along with their location and the time of each count. While USDA scientists are focusing on the Mid-Atlantic region, any data they can get from other U.S. regions would also be helpful to their research.

The quest to find out just how many stink bugs there are, and how they behave, is the brainchild of a consortium of researchers from USDA, the University of Maryland, Pennsylvania State University, Rutgers University, Virginia Tech, the Northeastern IPM Center, Oregon State University, North Carolina State University, Cornell University, the University of Delaware and Washington State University. This project is represented on the website, “Stop BMSB (www.stopbmsb.org),” which was launched in 2011.

The project involves more than 50 scientists who are investigating the impact BMSB have on grapes, orchard crops, small fruits, ornamental crops and vegetables, as well as ways to prevent or minimize the pest’s impact. BMSB have been found in 40 states and have caused the most damage in the Mid-Atlantic region. The value of at-risk crops where BMSB have been established or identified exceeds $21 billon.

Because landscape features such as woodlands, structures, roads and different land use types affect the spread of the insects, it is important to collect data related to BMSB locations. BMSB survive cold winter temperatures near farmland in homes, office buildings and warehouses.

Scientists are just beginning to understand how landscape features will be a key component in combating stink bugs. Volunteers willing to count their stink bugs can contact USDA-Agricultural Research Service (ARS) entomologists Tracy Leskey (tracy.leskey@ars.usda.gov), Doo-Hyung Lee or Torri Hancock at (304) 725-3451, at the ARS Appalachian Fruit Research Laboratory in Kearneysville, West Virginia.

Participant forms to record BMSB counts can be printed by going to http://www.stopbmsb.org/2014-count

22 Responses to “Stop Stink Bug Project”

  1. James says:

    People dont understand how these stink bugs can destroy crops. Recently on out blog at http://www.bedbugs-brooklyn.com we spoke about how bad these bugs can get. It can really ruin someones garden, or even farmers whole crops. Stink bugs stink!

  2. dennis says:

    killing them by the hundreds each day with 50/50 dawn and water

  3. Jackie says:

    I am also killing them by the hundreds. We live in a log house and they are every where. Using dawn dish detergent and water. And knocking them in the solution. But every warm day there are thousands more. They are easier to get in late afternoon when it cools off, they get slower. But I am looking for a better way to get rid of them.

  4. Jen Main says:

    It’s funny, because we all assume that what’s eating our crops is the Japanese Beetle Bugs, so that’s what we spray for and try to exterminate. Thanks to social media, we only hear about those insects, and therefore feel that those are our only threat. However, I have noticed and abundance of the stink bugs right here in southwest Missouri!! My grand mother started noticing them in her garden and came up with her own spray that included tobacco to keep not only the stink bugs away, but several other insects as well! I think that farmers need to be more educated on the fact that there is more than just one type of really big insect problem!

  5. Henrietta Harvey says:

    Sept 25, 2013 Today marks the start of the stink bug invasion from the mountain woodlands of Western Maryland. I watched today as hundreds of these defiant bugs started their journey in search of warmer accommodations for the cold winter months ahead. Unfortunately their size and population appear to be greater than that of last year. The major migration appears to be about a four week timeline and generally starts the last week or so of September based on weather conditions. They migrate from the forest and agricultural lands where they feed on trees and crop during the summer months. They gain access through any crack,crevice or chimney in your home. I have spent thousands of dollars refitting a brand new home to get rid of the infestation. We found multiple sources of entry and spent weeks replacing ridge vents, adding chimney caps, removing soffits and adding screens, caulking all interior and exterior trim and siding. I actually felt like I was at war with this BUG. This year will determine who wins… and with all due respect the USDA wants you to complete some ridiculous form and count how many bugs you find where.. Really, How about this: Western Maryland area, thousands of bugs every year, cant enjoy the outside for weeks when the migration starts because it is so bad, Can’t count because there are too many, Cant open windows to conserve energy and get fresh air because they enter through the openings in the new casement windows,Cant use the fireplace because they enter through the chimney, Cant stand it anymore and you want me to complete a form. This is unacceptable that this problems is not solved. For the first time I would like to see my tax dollars do something for me and every homeowner who is suffering from this same problem!!Somebody better get on this problem and now before the populations becomes totally uncontrollable. I cannot conceive there is yet to be a solution to this problem.

  6. Janet says:

    During the worst times, (starting now) I use a small shop vac that I bought specifically for stink bugs (it smells too bad to use for anything else!). I spend hours in the afternoons sucking them off the outside of the house where they are the thickest (yes, thickest). That is my weapon of choice and it is kind of fun and cathartic. As soon as I clear a wall, there are more. Not sure if it helps, but it can’t hurt and it feels good.

  7. Richard says:

    We’ve found them in the vast majority of homes we service. While you’ll never totally stop them from invading your home, the only way to reduce stink bugs from entering is exclusion.

  8. Kara says:

    We missed the “count” but have tons around our house if you still need input :)

  9. Brandi says:

    I didn’t know about any of this stuff until just now.came across it while reading up on stuff. I missed the count as well,but I live in south-central PA and had tons and tons of these nasty little critters around my home this fall!i will tell you from personal experience,they LOVE trees!!I live in the woods and now thanks to these bugs,it’s very hard to even go outside during the warm fall weather.summer seems to be too hot for them because as soon as fall gets here,they hover around our house.they love our wood stacks,they hunker down in our fire wood that we save for winter time (we use woodstove for heat).I’d give more information if anyone needs it,especially if it helps to get rid of these pains in the butts!!! thanks!

  10. Richard II says:

    Quick question. Where does the $21 billion damage estimate come from,

    Thanks

  11. Lori says:

    Just to share (since it seems odd to me) – caught a stink bug in my home in Rockland county NY today, a very cold 8th of February.

  12. Kiersten M says:

    Lori, funny you say that–the whole reason I came on here was because I just recently moved upstate NY(Ulster county) and i have been seeing sooo many of these bugs in my apartment–that’s what made me come online to search. Although it may be odd, they are looking for someplace warm and without wasting any household products — i find that all i need to do is capture them quickly (cup or paper towel) and simply place them outside. They die within a minute from the cold.

  13. Perfumes Femininos says:

    I hear that they usually stay away from strong smells like perfumes and things of this nature.
    Is it true or it is another bs from the net?

  14. Bill Swan says:

    WOW. Such an awesome article. Thank you for sharing. Pest pest pest. Such a nuisance but we need them. Have a pleasant day.

  15. pam says:

    If I’m outside with my pets I’ll bring a squirt bottle with dawn dish detergent and water and just squirt away. Last summer/fall my back deck looked like a stink bug cemetery. I’ve bought a stink bug trap for outside what a waste of money.

  16. Eloise Neiss says:

    I’d like to help with recording my stink bugs, but the link was not on the article on Yahoo, and is not working on this site. Bad timing!

  17. Dan B says:

    I couldn’t find the form for recording stink bug counts on this site..Maybe Yahoo could do a better job of proving links

  18. Donna D says:

    I’m in Northern NJ. So far, they are limited but I anticipate 50 to 100 per day soon. They fly from our maple tree to the house siding. Flicking them into a bucket of soapy water does the trick to kill them. The question is: once they get into the house (usually the attic where they fall from the air conditioning vents), how do you get rid of them?

  19. Donna D says:

    PS – the link to track them didn’t work for me either.

  20. Ben [USDA Moderator] says:

    @Eloise Neiss – thanks for letting us know about the link. We have fixed the link in the blog. The website is http://www.stopbmsb.org/. You can download participant forms here: http://www.stopbmsb.org/2014-count

  21. Ellie says:

    October 7th 2014
    I have had the worst time this year with the stink bugs. Have killed thousands of the darn things by swatting them with a wooden paddle on the west side of our home. The smell is disgusting. Then I heard of Terro stink bug killer. I sprayed it all around the doors, windows, wood stacks, we heat with wood, and any other cracks or crevices I could reach. IT WORKS LIKE A DREAM ! The seven skylights will be recaulked this Thursday as they are coming into the house that way. I have also been starting a fire in the fireplace each evening to kill any that have entered the chimney. We live on a creek, heavily wooded area in SE Portland Oregon. At least five of my neighbors also have tons of them as well. Friends in Dateland AZ are just crazy with truck loads of the darn bugs. Just told them about Terro.
    To many to count, but thousands of them. After spraying the side of the house though, a couple of days ago, they are pretty much gone.

  22. Barbara says:

    Diatomaceous earth dusted around doors and windows works. They die within 24 hours once they get it on them. It’s all natural. But you do need to reapply it from time to time. You’ll have drifts of dead bugs. It’s not a miracle cure, but it helps!

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