Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The brown marmorated stink bug

 Each Spring since I have been living with Margaret I have watched the dogwood in the front yard become frailer.  I first thought it was something to do with the weather, maybe a frost or cold snap happening after the blooms were on the tree. Something that caused it to be 'funny' looking and produce poor quality blooms. The blossoms are shriveled and burned, looking like something with frost bite. 
There is no longer a delicate beauty to them, the petals are dull, thick and curl around their  browning edges. .  And, each year there are more and more dead branches on the tree.   It is very apparent that the tree is slowly yielding to what appears to be a wasting disease. 
As it turns out it is this nasty smelling bug that is killing our official state tree and a lot of other trees and plants in our country.
According to Wikipedia this creature "...was accidentally introduced into the United States from China or Japan. It is believed to have "hitched a ride" as a stowaway in packing crates. The first documented specimen was collected in Allentown, Pennsylvania, in September 1998. "  Since that time it has made itself at home and is enjoying a steady diet of orchard tree sap and the juice of fruits and various other trees and some garden plants such as soy beans and corn.  The bugs pierce the fruit’s outer skin  and, in some cases, a plant or tree's surface skin or bark, and suck out juices while injecting saliva.                            This causes bruising and discoloration to fruits and vegetables and eventually kills the trees they pierce and inject.  Nasty!                                 

            Last winter I found a nest of them inside a curtain rod in my bedroom!  When the heat was turned on they started appearing  and flying around my lights when I turned them on at night.  It took me a while to find where they were coming from.  The stinky devils were well hidden.  I went to put on a black skirt that I don't often wear and, you guessed it, it had a bunch of the devils inside of it!  When I put the skirt over my head and pulled it down it was full of the bugs!  I'm surprised I didn't have another heart attack right then and there!  You should have heard me, well, maybe not, I was very upset to say the least.  I had to clean the closet and each item taken from it.  It took some time to remove the lingering smell of the bugs too.  Just frightening them will make them spray so it is best to catch them in a jar with a lid in order to seal them and their aroma in. 
Last summer I actually took pictures of the bugs new hatching's as I had not seen them before and wondered what they were.  Had I known I would have destroyed them rather than photograph them.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comments mean a lot to me. Thank you for visiting, I hope you will come again soon.