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Salem Pest Trends: The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

The brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is living up to its name in 15 states across the country, raising a stink in orchards and farmlands and requiring homeowners to seek professional pest control. Salem, Aurora, and Portland are just a few of the Oregon cities where the brown marmorated stink bug can now be found.

If you’re wondering what the brown marmorated stink bug look like and why these insects are cause for concern, here’s a look at what the fuss is all about:

The 411 on the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

Native to Japan, Korea and China, the BMSB first appeared in America in Allenstown, Penn., in 1996. Local pest control experts believe the pest hitched a ride to America in packing containers. About a half an inch in length, the BMSB, or Halyomorpha Halys, has a shield-like shape when viewed from above. This “true bug” is brown with streaked, marbled or “marmorated” blue, yellow and green tones. Like all true bugs, the BMSB uses its long proboscis to pierce through fruits’ tough skins and suck out the juicy nectar inside.

Why Stink Bugs Are a Problem

There are several reasons why an infestation of BMSBs could justify contracting with a pest control company. Salem and Eugene farmers despise this pest because it likes to snack on vegetables and fruits, including peppers, tomatoes, berries, grapes, soybeans and melons. Residential gardeners find the BMSB a problem when it leaves dimpled marks on their cucumbers, beans, raspberries and ornamental plants. This tiny insect is even known to damage young trees by eating through their protective layers of bark to get at the fresh inner pulp.

However, most local pest control complaints about the brown marmorated stink bug arise when this insect seeks a warm place to hibernate in the winter. Its small size allows the BMSB to fit through tiny cracks around windows and doors. When employing the “squish on sight” approach to BMSB pest control, Salem and Portland residents will notice that the bug emits a putrid, skunk-like smell. Hundreds of stinky BMSBs lingering on an internal wall are certainly reason enough for residents to contact a local pest control firm.

Salem, Portland, and Eugene may be experiencing a spike in BMSBs this year due to our unusually wet spring. If brown marmorated stink bugs are ruining your crops or distressing your family, hire a local pest control company to make your home blissfully stink-free once again.

[ photo by: spakattacks ]

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