Stink bugs are beginning to invade homes throughout the mid-Atlantic region to find shelter from the cooler weather in what could be the largest invasion yet, but the top researcher on the smelly insects who had been studying ways to contain them has been furloughed in the government shutdown, UPI reported on Oct. 3.
Stink bugs are mainly invading homes in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia and other mid-Atlantic states, but they’ve also now been discovered on the West Coast, earning a reputation as the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s most “invasive insect of interest.”
Stink bugs, which are originally from Asia, are expected to have a record population this year in the U.S. As part of their research, the USDA had asked residents to count the stink bugs taking up residence in private homes but that research has stopped in the wake of the federal government shutdown.
Stink bugs have a well-deserved name, because they emit a very strong, unpleasant odor when they’re disturbed.
Stink bugs aren’t just a smelly nuisance – they are notorious for damaging tens of millions of dollars worth of crops each year.
But maybe it’s now time to turn the tables and eat the stink bugs? A group of students from McGill University in Montreal has come up with a way to possibly feed the world’s hungry by creating a protein-rich flour made from insects, including stink bugs. The students even won the 2013 Hult Prize for their idea, according to the Christian Science Monitor.