What Happened to the Stink Bugs?

August 28, 2014

"There's a lot more to this than what we have been able to uncover so far," said Michael Lachance, extension agent with the Virginia Cooperative Extension Office in Nelson County.

It is Lachance's job to check-in with local orchards to find out how their crops are holding up to various critters.

"We always look at the impact of each growing year at the end of the season and we have had reports that we haven't seen as many stink bugs. More importantly, orchardists also look for eggs in the orchards and we aren't seeing as many eggs now as as we have in the past," said Lachance.

Reasons as to why stink bugs are not as prevalent this year are still unclear even as some experts point to weather or biological explanations.

"Although we had a return to colder weather last year, the stink bug does quite well in Pennsylvania where winters are typically much more intense then they are here," said Lachance.

Specifically in Albemarle and Nelson counties, which are home to several fruit orchards and vegetable farms, a smaller stink bug population means a prettier crop.

That is because stink bugs leave behind small dents causing some discoloration.

"If you area buyer for a super market chain you're going to be looking at this type of damage and trying to prevent as much of this being on the shelf as possible," said Lachance.

For orchards and home owners, the mysterious disappearance of the stinky critters all around, could be a good thing.

"We certainly want them to disappear we want the pressure to diminish over time. We're going to look at the weather the natural controls that are out there in nature," said Lachance.

Experts says around mid-September is when stink bugs start making their way into homes.

They suggest you start protecting your home now.

For tips on how to prevent stink bugs from entering your home, click the link on the side of the page.

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