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Yep, brown marmorated stink bugs are stinky, but that’s not the worst thing about them. They're imported agricultural pests eating their way across North America. But a native enemy from Asia – the tiny samurai wasp – has a particularly nasty method of stopping stink bugs in their tracks.
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It looks rather harmless at first glance. With a speckled exterior and a shield-like shape, the brown marmorated stink bug doesn’t appear to be any different from any other six-legged insect that might pop up in your garden. But this particular bug, which arrived in the U.S. from Asia in the mid-1990s and smells like old socks when it is squashed, is a real nuisance. Not only can it invade homes by the thousands in the wintertime, it’s one formidable agricultural pest, eating millions of dollars of peaches, apples and other crops since 2010.
Scientists are now investigating a new tactic in the war on the stink bugs: the possibility of relying on one of the bug’s natural enemies, the samurai wasp.
Also native to Asia, this parasitic wasp keeps the stink bug population in check there. How?
---+ Read the entire article on KQED Science:
---+ For more information:
Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Research at Oregon State University
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