Home owners in the upper Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states are learning what farmers have known for a few years now: Stink bugs are a real pain — and a smelly one at that.

A new species, the brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys) is wreaking havoc in homes, vegetable gardens and to a lesser extent farms in the upper Southeast this year.

Though not the species most commonly associated with crop damage, the brown marmorated stink bug, which is often called the ‘Asian stinkbug’, can and does damage crops and is becoming a real nuisance to home owners in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania.

Kenneth Coney, a non-farming home owner in western Virginia says the little critters are just getting downright hard to live with these days.

“Here in northwestern Virginia, where I am, the stink bugs are my No. 1 home pest. The exterior walls of my house are black with them. A door or window can't be opened (at any hour) without 4 or 5 flying inside.  
We have a vacuum cleaner designated just for them, but more control is needed. My local Praying Mantis population seems to either be ignoring them, or perhaps the stink bugs simply breed more than 3 or 4 Praying Mantis can eat,” Coney says.

Even politicians have gotten involved in trying to cope with the pests, which first showed up in the U.S. in the early and mid-1990s and was first documented in Pennsylvania.
Congressmen Roscoe Bartlett is acting to spur solutions to assist farmers in Maryland and other states facing devastating damage caused by the Asian stink bug, or the brown marmorated stink bug.  

“I was introduced to the havoc being wreaked by the brown marmorated stink bug at a farm in my district during the first week in September. This week, I organized a formal briefing by USDA and regional farm experts as well as informal briefings for members and staff in the U.S. House of Representatives,” Brown says.