How Did These Asian Stink Bugs Find Their Way to New Jersey?

These prehistoric-looking shield-shaped bugs are native to Asia. They were only recently introduced into our ecosystem. In the United States, they were first reported in our neighboring state of Pennsylvania when in 1996 a few of the bugs were found scampering around the city of Allentown. In 1999, the bugs in New Jersey were first identified in Milford. It only took a few years for the bugs to become well entrenched throughout most of the state. Most likely, the bugs arrived here as stowaways inside packing crates hidden among the tons of Chinese imports that enter our county. As an introduced species with no native predator, the stink bug population has grown virtually unabated. This year’s stink bug population is expected to be one of the worst. It is believed that this year's early spring and summer, combined with the season's relatively low rainfall, has dramatically accelerated insect

How Did Stink Bugs Earn Their Name?

Stink bugs are like miniaturized skunks. These bugs earned their name from scent glands under their wings and abdomen. If the insect is disturbed, it discharges a pungent, acrid odor. The aroma, which has been described as being reminiscent of rancid almonds or moldy fruit, permeates the air even more with the bug’s wing movement. Its ability to emit an odor through holes in its abdomen is a defense mechanism to discourage birds and lizards from eating them. However, just like a skunk, handling the bug, injuring it, or attempting to move it can trigger it to release the odor.

Is the State of New Jersey Monitoring Stink Bug Activity?

Yes. The Rutgers Cooperative Extension and the New Jersey Department of Agriculture is very much concerned with the further spread of this non-native insect throughout the state. While these bugs can become a serious nuisance in and around our homes, these bugs also pose a serious risk for agricultural damage. If your home has been infested with a large number of stink bugs, which will likely occur in September and October, please contact your local County Cooperative Extension office to report the infestation.

If you have a stink bug infestation, the professionals at Cowleys Pest Services can help. We offer treatment and extermination services in many areas of Mercer, Ocean, Monmouth, Somerset, & Middlesex County, NJ including Edison, Somerset, Lakewood. Contact us today for a Free Estimate and prevention tips.

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