Western North Carolina is beginning to feel the effects of a new insect pest: the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug. The bug was accidentally introduced from Asia and was first spotted in Pennsylvania in 2001. Since then, the bugs have been slowly increasing their range outward from Pennsylvania and are beginning to make their first forays into North Carolina.
Researchers at North Carolina State University are concerned about the stink bug’s arrival because it could potentially have huge impacts on the state’s agricultural crops. In states where the insect has become established, such as northern Virginia, eastern West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, and south central Pennsylvania, some farmers in 2010 lost more than half of their crops.