United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists in Mid-Atlantic states are asking homeowners and gardeners to help them in an autumn count of brown marmorated stinkbugs (Halyomorpha halys). The scientists coordinating the project are from the University of Maryland, Pennsylvania State University, Rutgers University, Virginia Tech, the Northeastern IPM Center, Oregon State University, North Carolina State University, Cornell University, the University of Delaware and Washington State University.
As temperatures become cooler, the stink bugs seek shelter in buildings that provide shelter and become unwelcome guests. They actually do no harm to people or property indoors, but they are a nuisance which become "stinky" when inadvertently crushed. The aim of this USDA project, now that the stink bugs gather, is to find out just how many stink bugs there are, and how they behave.
Participants will record daily stink bug counts on the exterior of their homes, along with location - compass direction - and the time of each count. USDA scientists are concentrating on the Mid-Atlantic region, but appreciate any data they receive from other U.S. regions.
Readers may learn more about the brown marmorated stink bug at Stop BMSB (Brown Marmorated Stink Bug), a web site begun in 2011 and devoted exclusively to these stinky critters. They may download a participant form for the project at the West Virginia Public Broadcasting site. The project has already begun, but tallies are due on the form by October 15, 2013.