Stink Bugs To Cause Havoc To Hudson Valley Fruit Crops

Insects At This Point Unstoppable And Expected To Be Handful

YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A household pest is rearing it’s smelly head.

It first turned up in Pennsylvania back in the 1990s and has continued to spread into the Tri-State Area. Now it’s threatening fresh fruit crops in our area, reports CBS 2’s Katie Fehlinger.

They’re creepy. They’re crawly. And when you crush them, they’re stinky.

“Something akin to wet leaves. Some people find it really offensive,” said Jerry Giordano, community education at the Cornell University Cooperative Extension.

Make no mistake, the stink bugs are back. Residential infestations which plagued parts of New Jersey in recent years have already begun to encroach north. But expect more than just a home invasion this time around.

“The biggest problem is gonna be on fruit,” Giordano said.

Horticulturists say peaches, tomatoes, apples and more could all suffer damage from the brown marmorated stink bug this growing season, particularly in the Hudson Valley.

Randy Pratt, who operates a fruit farm in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., has dealt with the pests before.

“It uses its mouthparts and sucks the juice out, and then what happens is you get what’s called a dry or a corky spot,” Pratt said.

Although he has yet to see any stink bugs on his property, Pratt said he’s on the lookout.

“For me it affects my entire business because people come here to pick apples. And if your crop isn’t out there for them to pick there’s really no reason, really, for them to come here,” Pratt said.

Apple trees like the Ida red won’t even be ready for picking until early fall — right around the time the infestation’s expected to occur. So, Pratt said all he can do is wait and see.

“There’s nothing we can do ahead of time to stop it. If it’s coming, we just have to take care of it when it gets here,” he said.

Since this particular pest feeds on lots of different plant types, they’re tough to get rid of and there’s no way sure-fire way to control them.

“You basically vacuum them up or collect them in a way without crushing them,” Giordano said.

So far, more than 30 stink bug reports and samples have come in from the Hudson Valley. Experts say, for now, there’s no need to panic, but expect a stinky situation in the months ahead.

Now that the weather’s warming up, don’t be surprised if you notice more stink bugs since they’re emerging from their winter hiding places. Since the bugs turned up in the U.S., they’ve been found in 32 states.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

  • LA

    Here in NW NJ, I had one land on me while I was sleeping on the couch at night about two years ago. It landed on my face, and I hit it while I was sleeping. It spit some of it’s goo in my eye. It burned so bad. The worst pain I’ve ever felt. I had to rinse it, and then I found the bloody thing, and grabbed it with paper towel, and stuffed it in a sandwich bag and through it out. Since then I’m afraid of them, they are so nasty. I had a puffy and droopy eye for a week. A gentleman where I worked also had one land on him and spit too, and his nose was swollen, it happened while he was asleep too, the pain woke him up. Please let someone find something that gets rid of them permanently!!!

  • Chris

    These bugs are tough nut to crack and tough to control as well. There is no permanent solution to it. Some have used soap water to kill these bugs but that is only temporary. The exterminator won’t guarantee it works and most of the time they are right. You are pretty much on your own to fight these bugs.

  • MCK

    Better stink bugs than bed bugs!

  • Arlene

    I live in the upper Manhattan neighborhood of Inwood and I keep finding stink bugs in my apartment! I’m just across from Inwood Hill Park and I have no fruit or plants in my apartment. The exterminator has been here once and these bugs are still here!

  • MK

    Hysterical….very good! Lolololol!

  • kendra

    does any1 know if they carry any diseases of any kind or become inbeded in dogs or cats…and do we have them in nyc…

    • Alex

      They feed on plants, not on blood. No threat to people or pets

  • wanda

    how do you get rid of these guys…they are every where, behind all my pictures on the way, china closets just everywhere….help!

  • HooDatIS?


  • stinky

    they smell like poopies

  • dot maggio

    Stink bugs hibernate in soffits and behind gutters. They make their way into your house when it starts to warm up. I got a few during a warmish spell this winter. they are slow moving and easy to catch and flush away.

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