THE BROWN MARMORATED STINK BUG
A Look At Just How Invasive The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Is, is an article that was published on National Public Radio website on 7th March this year. It is an interview based on another article posted on the latest issue of The York Times by Kathryn Schulz. The article discusses the brown marmorated stink bug where everything about the pest is laid out ("A Look At Just How Invasive The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Is", 2018).
The marmorated stink bug is an insect that is not initially from America, but Asia and only arrived in America about two decades ago. Ever since its arrival, the pest has made its way through most states in the U.S. It has also been seen in Canada. Other than these the bug has also made its way through South America in countries like Chile and some parts of Europe like Russia, Italy, France, Hungary, Greece, Spain, and Switzerland. The spread of this bug cannot be attributed to its prowess in flying but to globalization (Schulz, 2018).
The bug when invading a place, its known to go in groups of hundreds. The article starts with the story of how a couple in South Carolina discovered their cabin bedroom being infested by these creatures. One of the primary characteristics of the bug is that it has a very distinct smell when attacked which in most cases is used as a protection mechanism. That is why it is referred to as the Stink Bug. As described in the article, if the bug is killed it is found to release the smell that is similar to that of cilantro. Other people describe the smell as similar to that of ammonia-and-sulfur stench that is usually around paper mills ("A Look At Just How Invasive The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Is", 2018). Another characteristic of the bug is that it seems to eat anything just like a human being primarily on the farm. The feature makes it a dangerous organism to the human beings in particular because it preys on their food. The worst thing about the bugs is that when they invade they do it in large quantities and you cannot get rid of them entirely. They hide in every corner of the house. The article also highlights that no pesticide has been able to eliminate then wholly all at once. The fact that they have extended legs that do not allow their bodies to touch the sprayed crops makes the elimination harder.
According to the article, prior the invasion of the bugs, farmers used pesticides twice in a season of crops at most, but after the attack, pesticides are applied to the plants almost every week. As a result, people are consuming foods that are heavy on pesticide content. The same goes for the environment, although pesticides are used to control pests in the field, excessive use can be detrimental to the environment killing both harmful and useful organisms in the soil. The bug becomes more problematic since it can feed on any crop that grows, be it pepper, apples, tomatoes or any other produce (Schulz, 2018).
The only good thing about the bug is that it does not bite human beings or destroy anything in the house and the fact that it has its natural predator in the ecosystem. Despite the brown marmorated stink bug not having any direct effects on human beings, there is a question on how to control it. The pest invades in hundreds and not a single one, enough to cause catastrophic effects like the distraction of vast fields of crops leaving human beings with no food. At the same time use of pesticides has harmful effects as discussed earlier on both people and the environment itself. The other option is the introduction of the natural predators of the bug into the ecosystem, but there is no measure of the effects that this will cause on the ecosystem (Soffar, 2017).
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