Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

New Garden Pest found in the UK

A new garden bug has been discovered in the UK which is a threat to our fruit and vegetable crops. Called the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug it was first discovered in the wildlife garden of the Natural History Museum in London.

Native to Japan, Korea and China this new bug is fast-breeding. The looks similar to Green shield bugs but come in shades of brown and grow up to 1.7 centimetres. When the bugs feel threatened they give off a foul smell, hence they name.

Newly hatched brown marmorated stink bugs. Eggs are normally laid on the underside of leaves in masses of up to 28, and nymphs grow into adults within 35-45 days | Photographer Gary Bernon

They love to live amongst vegetables and fruit crops, especially sweetcorn, tomatoes, apples, peaches and pears. They stuck juice from the crop which results in blemishes and rotting sections.

Entomologist Max Barclay says,

“If you eat a damaged fruit, there’s no risk to your health. The fruit just doesn’t look beautiful. These fruits usually end up as juice.”

Traditionally throughout Winter they live in caves but have been discovered in houses due to the warmth and love windowsills. They were found to have been imported into the UK via timber imports.

“One of the reasons stink bugs are considered pests is because they cluster around window frames in large numbers and leave droppings. If you try and sweep them away, they will produce these unpleasant-smelling oils which will stain the furniture. If the oils get on your fingers, it’s really hard to remove.”

– Entomologist Max Barclay.

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