This site is for people who like plants -- growers, enthusiasts, aesthetes, novices and professionals, those who appreciate wild things and those who appreciate the cultivated. I garden in Chelsea, and I've been visiting people's yards for 20+ years in the course of my work. My goal is to make this blog a community project, so if you share my interests, please consider becoming a participant and contributing content -- Guerin. Info:

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A New Stink Bug in Town

It's been confirmed: the brown marmorated stink bug has arrived in Michigan. The announcement was made yesterday by the Michigan Department of Agriculture.

If you are a regular listener to NPR, you might have heard of this recent accidental introduction. It feeds on a wide range of crops, including apples, corn, soybeans, peaches, green beans, cherries and much more. And you will get to know (and probably hate) it since it overwinters in homes in large numbers, and emits a vile odor when it is alarmed or squished.   I have not heard that it damages landscape plants, but it is likely to be a nuisance in vegetable gardens.

There are many other species of stink big, and many that are native to Michigan. This new one has up to four generations per year, lacks effective predators, lives for years, and can quickly build up huge populations. As with the emerald ash borer, it is believed to have hitched a ride on packing materials.

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