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The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

            The exact date of when the brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys, arrived in the United States is not certain. However, it is agreed upon that the first sighting of this invasive herbivorous insect species was in Allentown, Pennsylvania. It was accidentally introduced to the United States from Asia. Since its arrival in the 1990s, the brown marmorated stink bug, (BMSB), has been detected in a growing number of states in the U.S. The BMSB has infested homes across the U.S. and continues to increase and spread. With at least 26 or more states with findings of the BMSB in 2010, Arkansas is at risk of possible invasion because its bordering states have already encountered this aggressive species. [1][2][3].
             This insect is an unwanted nuisance and poses a great threat to agriculture. Apples, corn, peaches, soybeans and other crops have become a feasting ground for the BMSB. They are a relentless annoyance to farmers, especially since insecticides and pesticides have little effect on them. Their primary host appears to be legumes, fruit trees and deciduous trees. In 2010, the estimated economic loss in the Mid-Atlantic region to apples alone was over $37 million. [1][2][3] Another increasing problem in the U.S. is when the temperature starts to drop in the fall. These insects begin looking for a place to over-winter and they seek refuge in homes, attics and other buildings. The adults BMSB's can aggregate and infest homes, leaving people stunned and unsure of how to get rid of hundreds, or even thousands, of these bugs. Preventative measures such as sealing up cracks and holes that lead into structure, can be taken to inhibit the BMSB from entering homes and other buildings where it seeks shelter for overwintering. [1][2].
             On a positive note, these insects do not harm humans in any way. They do however release an unpleasant odor when smashed or swept up in a vacuum cleaner. It is still early in regards to this creature's invasion and how to best combat it against homes and agriculture.

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