The stink bug has landed
T JUST over 1cm across, the marmorated stink bug isn’t the biggest invader to hit Britain’s shores – but it may be the smelliest.
Named after the putrid stench it releases as a defence mechanism, the bug is terrorising the US and has been spotted in Switzerland, France and Italy. Biologists say it will “inevitably” invade Britain. The bugs, native to China, Japan and Taiwan, were accidentally introduced to the US in the mid1990s. They have since spread to 40 states and in 2010 ruined £23 million (R404m) of apple crops.
The brown bug is shaped like a shield and resembles several species common in Britain. But the stench of rotten garbage it produces is unique.
Entomologist Max Barclay, of London’s Natural History Museum, said: “I think the brown marmorated stink bug will establish a population here. It is only a matter of time.
“It will make its presence felt quickly because it comes into people’s homes in autumn and winter. Ancestrally, it used to hibernate in caves and houses are the next best thing. In hotels in American states, you have signs warning about stink bugs in rooms. It’s very hard to get rid of them because they lay eggs and even if you get the exterminators in to vacuum them up, they come back the following year.”
The Government’s Food and Environment Research Agency is warning people to check any imported plants and containers. – Daily Mail