A number of years ago, the DC Metro area began experiencing a rise in stinkbugs (brown marmorated stink bugs to be specific). It is native to China, Korea, Japan and Taiwan. Initially, there were no natural predators and any sort of artificial control were largely ineffective. The bugs have a resistance to cold winter temperatures – largely assisted by their penchant for moving into structures, houses and buildings as the autumn nights get colder. Speaking from experience, these bugs are a huge annoyance.
Researchers at Virginia Tech now believe that the Polar Vortex had the added benefit of wiping out a large percentage of the wintering stink bugs. Lab tests show that the bugs can withstand wintering in temperatures down to -4 F. The tests in Blacksburg (home of VT) showed that the 95% of the wintering bugs in their experiments froze to death as part of the recent Polar Vortex winter.
One can only hope. Predatory wasps and birds are starting to adjust their diet to include the stink bugs but in the numbers that appear, it isn’t enough….yet.
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