Spring Stinkbug Population Boom Predicted

2/2/2013

The recent influx of stinkbugs into the Shenandoah Valley and surrounding areas will be followed by a population boom this spring, according to entomologists.

This past year, the brown marmorated stinkbugs that have gone into hibernation, or overwintering, were at higher numbers than in the past two years, according to Thomas Kuhar, an entomologist at Virginia Tech who focuses on vegetable entomology.

"It's extremely difficult to predict insects. What we do know is that a nice strong population went into overwintering sites more than the previous two years. When the bugs are seeking shelter sometime in September, there were a lot of bugs going into overwintering sites. So you're starting out with a pretty good population," Kuhar said.

He said there's a pretty good chance the large population will be a strong one in the valley, unless extreme weather wakes them from their overwintering slumber.

By destroying apples and other tree fruits, stinkbugs have hindered farmers' production in recent years.

Source: newsleader.com