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Invasive insect capable of stripping fields also annoys homeowners in southwestern Michigan

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ST. JOSEPH, Michigan — An invasive insect capable of stripping fields and orchards is also annoying homeowners in southwestern Michigan.

The brown marmorated stink bug has been slow in making its way into Michigan, according to surveillance traps, the Kalamazoo Gazette reported (http://bit.ly/1sGbCWV ).

The Michigan State University Extension statewide monitoring program said the bug wasn't detected in great numbers in traps set around fruit and vegetable crops. In a report, the extension service said they have been generally hard to find except for "a few hotspots."

The bug does not bite or pose any danger to humans, but it can stink. Mary Ann Robinson, of St. Joseph, said she hasn't been able to figure out how they're getting into her house, which is in a subdivision near a wooded ravine. She said she can't detect the smell.

"They go in spurts and usually when we find them they are dead," Robinson said. "They seem to come around the front picture window."

The bugs are worse in the Berrien County village of Stevensville, said Cathie Buckley, who lives with her husband on 6 1/2 acres that includes a former blueberry patch. She said they are finding the bugs "all over the place," and said she has dealt with hundreds.

"I have lots of them — and my husband can't stand the smell of them," she said. "They are horrible."

The Asian bug is another invasive species that has had an impact on the state's plants and lakes, joining the emerald ash borer beetle, the zebra mussel and feral pigs. The stink bug was found in 2012 in a dozen counties after it first was spotted earlier in Berrien County.


Information from: Kalamazoo Gazette, http://www.mlive.com/kalamazoo

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