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Stinkbugs In New Jersey

by Mike Brandolino

stink bug north american farmerStinkbugs. Small. Smelly. Costly.

In 1996, the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, Halyomorpha halys, entered the United States stowed inside a packing crate that arrived in Reading, Pennsylvania from Asia. This particular stinkbug species is commonly found in China, Japan, and Korea.

These stinkbugs do not have many natural predators in the United States to control their populations. Since there are so many farms in New Jersey, they have an abundant food supply. The stinkbugs are here and making their presence known to everyone.

When there are just are few stinkbugs puttering around your family cookout or climbing the curtains or walls in your home, these bugs with their offensive and protective chemical defense smell are just a nuisance.

But, when they swam and attack a farm, that is a completely different story. The crops can be damaged or destroyed. With little or no crops to sell, farm families can lose a full year of income. Multiply that amount of money by the thousands of New Jersey farmers and millions of consumers, everyone in the state, region, and country is affected. New Jersey farmers export their crops everywhere.

And not only New Jersey farmers are affected, stinkbugs are destroying crops all across America. The stinkbugs do not seem to be picky about what they eat. They will feed on apples, corn, grapes, raspberries, soybeans, and tomatoes. All these crops are grown in large amounts in New Jersey, which is basically a call to the dinner table for the stinkbugs.

With the threat and occurrences of fewer crop stocks available, the produce prices rise dramatically. In these tough economic times, everyone is feeling the pinch of the sluggish economy. Many people can not afford fresh fruits and vegetables because the low market supply and limited availability means much higher food costs.

Stinkbugs are impacting everyone, whether you encounter them or not.

What can be done to control the stinkbug populations?

The typical and immediate, short-term answer is to use insecticides to control these and other insect pest populations. Insecticides are a quick and effective method to decrease the pest populations to limit crop damages.

Pest insect populations are huge! Insecticides can temporarily reduce the number of pests during a growing to reduce crop damages to ensure an available and affordable food supply. Also, to provide farmer families with another year of income.

Farming is not an easy job. Many farmers are well educated in science and business and work many more hours than typical 9 to 5 employees.

Farmers are constantly learning about new agricultural technologies and using them to help feed the growing population. Everyday, farmers have to protect their crops from the smallest of pests to help feed the world.

The stinkbugs in New Jersey and across America are more than just a nuisance, they have the potential to destroy the farming industry and drive food prices through the roof.


“Monitoring for the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug”. Rutgers New Jersey Agriculture Experiment Station.

Sudol, Valerie. “Invasion of the stink bugs: Early fall is their season”. Star Ledger. October 1, 2009.

Wood, Anthony R. “Stinkbugs’ new appetite for crops spurs $5.7M study”. Inquirer. October 9, 2011.

About The Author

Mike Brandolino

Darla Noble is a freelance writer and agricultural specialist. She and her family have played a prominent role in Missouri and Mid West agriculture; predominantly in the production and marketing of sheep, value-added agricultural programs and the agri-tourism industry. They've been named MO Farm Family and their farm has been featured in several publications.