When it comes to fruit and vegetables, brown marmorated stink bugs don't discriminate. They feast on peaches, plums, apples, and grapes, along with corn, tomatoes, peppers and soybeans. They extract fluid from the apples, turning them dry and corky, and then leave them to rot.
Farmers have been hard hit by stink bug damage since the brown marmorated species was first spotted in Pennsylvania in 2001, but the numbers have exploded in recent years.
Mark Seetin, director of regulatory and industry affairs for the U.S. Apple Association says that in the 40 years that he's been in the industry, he's never seen one insect pose such a big threat.
"Unlike a typical insect which focuses on a crop or a narrow range of crops, this bug eats virtually anything," Seetin said. "The most unique and dangerous thing about this bug is its scope ... I'm waiting to hear that it feasts on plastic plants in the hotel lobby."
Many are hanging their hopes on a wasp -- from the trissolcus genus -- that is an effective predator against brown marmorated stink bugs in China, Japan and Korea.
For more, see: Stink Bug Invasion: Is a Wasp the Solution to Save Valued Crops?