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Stink Bugs Becoming A Problem Downstate

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WBBM/CBS) -- Stink bugs were spotted in the Chicago area only in recent months, and now, they're becoming a big problem downstate.

As WBBM Newsradio 780's Pat Cassidy reports, the brown marmorated stink bugs and they're showing up in parts of central Illinois. The insect, native to Asia, is endangering crops and even invading some homes.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780's Pat Cassidy reports


The stink bug feasts on soybeans, especially young soybeans, and loves to munch in home gardens with tomatoes and soft fruits such as peaches and cherries.

Stink bugs were also spotted twice in two western suburbs in recent months – Geneva last fall, and Western Springs in January.

The brown marmorated stink bug is readily identifiable by its back, which resembles a medieval shield.
The first brown marmorated stink bug in North America was spotted in Allentown, Pa., in 1998. Since then, they have spread all along the East Coast, as well as much of the South, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, Oregon and California, according to Penn State University.

The bug's native range is in China, Taiwan, Japan and Korea, where it is regarded as an agricultural pest. It attacks a variety of tree fruits and renders them unmarketable as fresh produce, according to Penn State. Last year, they caused severe damage to crops in apple and peach orchards in Pennsylvania.

While the insects are not dangerous to humans, homeowners might be annoyed by their noisy buzzing, Penn State said.

But squashing stink bugs is a bad idea. The Web site StinkBugs411 warns that they will emit a repulsive smell if they are squashed or even threatened.

While certain insecticides have worked, at home, a good old vacuum cleaner is recommended.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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