Where did all of these stink bugs come from?

Where did all of these stink bugs come from?

I visited the uninhabited attic room in my childhood home and the floors were carpeted with dead stink bugs that had failed to make their way outdoors after their hibernations in previous years. They weren’t always botanical pillagers. They once lived in relative harmony with their fellow creatures. In their native Asia, where they range through China, Korea, and Japan, they are kept in check by parasitic wasps. While they are pests there, their depredations are not nearly so severe. It was when they voyaged across the Atlantic and settled in North America that their rapacious tendencies really blossomed. Up to 90% of stink bug eggs are parasitized where the wasp’s range overlaps with that of the stink bug in their native habitat. Agricultural Research (ARS) scientists discovered the miniature wasp, hardly bigger than a period, in the stink bug’s native Asian range. Predaceous insects native to or already well-established in North America may be having an effect as well. Praying mantises—originally from the BSMB’s native China—have been observed eating them and so have some spiders. Some birds, too, have been seen gobbling up them up. This may explain the fact that populations are declining in some of their East Coast strongholds. Cold winters, too, may have taken out some of the insect mercenaries.