First Invasive Bug Sighting Can Cause More Than Stink

An unwelcome stowaway from the East Coast showed up in a Nampa home last month.  A brown marmorated stink bug likely hitched a ride in furniture or packing materials to Idaho.  This is the first time this pest has been found in Idaho.

This stink bug originated in Asia and popped up in mid-Atlantic states in the 1990s.  They have already caused major damage outside of Idaho to fruits and vegetables, especially apples, peaches, and pears. 

Professor Essie Fallahi studies fruit crops at the University of Idaho.  He says, "A portion of the flesh of the skin is removed by the bite of the insect.  And then as the fruit grows that portion of the fruit does not grow."  This causes a deformed-looking crop that can’t be sold.  Their bite also causes brown marks. 

The stink bug emits a foul odor which can cause problems in homes.  Once inside, they can be difficult to remove because they multiply so quickly. 

State ag officials are working with U of I experts to get the word out about these bugs so that people can keep an eye out for them.

Copyright 2012 Boise State Public Radio.