Stink Bug

Brown marmorated stink bug spotted in UK for first time

This week the Brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys) has been officially reported as present and active in the UK, prompting calls for pest controllers to keep an eye out and report any sightings.

The brown marmorated stink bug has arrived in the UK, threatening fruit and vegetable crops during summer and heading inside people's homes during winter. One of the first stink bugs to be identified was caught in the Museum's wildlife garden at South Kensington by Museum scientists .

During the summer, these pesky pests feast on fruits and vegetables such as apples, pears, peaches, tomatoes and sweetcorn by piercing the surface and sucking out the juice. They distort the produce and leave behind rotting spots and blemishes which can make the plant inedible or unsellable. Sometimes stink bugs can end up in products made from fruits, such as wine, and contaminate the flavour. This often results in the entire crop being thrown away - a huge waste and loss of profit.

Stink bugs often hide in shipping crates and wooden pallets during winter, items which are frequently moved around countries. When spring arrives, the insects could be in a different country, and therefore have an opportunity to expand into a new part of the world. At this stage, there isn't any evidence that shows the brown marmorated stink bugs have started to breed and establish populations in the UK, so monitoring via pheromone traps is crucial.



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