UMaine News

Koehler quoted in Biddeford-Saco-OOB Courier article on increase in stink bugs

Glen Koehler, an associate scientist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, spoke with the Biddeford-Saco-OOB Courier for an article about an invasive species that now has a well-documented presence in southern Maine. The brown marmorated stink bug is native to East Asia and was first found in Pennsylvania in the mid- to late-1990s. While the stink bug is not harmful to pets or humans, it caused significant crop damage in mid-Atlantic states in 2005 and has spread throughout the U.S. ever since, according to the article. Koehler, who is studying integrated pest management, hopes to monitor the bugs this summer. He said the bugs’ appearance in Maine is not a serious concern right now, but it’s difficult to know for sure how much damage they could cause. “This is not a crisis situation,” he said. “It hasn’t created biblical havoc in the new states they’ve moved into, though it certainly can be a significant pest. We’ll have to wait and see.” If the stink bugs start to cause economic damage to crops in the state, Koehler suggested farmers use an insecticide spray or a less harmful and potentially more effective method of introducing a biological control to counteract the population growth.