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[Biology Breach]


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Posted Mon May 23 2011: from New York Times:
Mid-Atlantic Dreads Bad Summer of Foul, Hungry Stink Bugs
The brown marmorated stink bug is believed to have arrived here from Asia in the 1990s. It has made its way from Pennsylvania to at least 33 states, and has been spotted as far west as California and Washington. A continuing advance is inexorable, scientists say, because the bugs have no natural predators and can travel long distances -- not by flying, but via a more convenient method: covertly hitching rides in vehicles. The insect has caused tens of millions of dollars in damage, munching apples, peppers, corn and soybeans, and has proved to be a general irritant -- in no small part because of its foul odor, which the bug secretes as a defense mechanism. "The feeling in the bug world is this is the worst bug we've seen in 40 years," said Michael J. Raupp, an entomologist at the University of Maryland. "It eats peaches and grapes and soybeans. It's annihilated organic growers who can't use pesticides. And guess what? After it eats your crops, it comes inside your home. I've never seen another bug do that."
[Read more stories about: invasive species, predator depletion]

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The stinky side of globalization.

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