September 8, 2010

Stay AWAY from my Honey Crisps

Maybe this explains why, recently, my wife and I were awoken at the typically silent hour of 1:00 a.m. by a freakishly loud buzzing noise trailing this way and that across our bedroom.

Last year, the insects called brown marmorated stink bugs were a nuisance. This year, they are a serious threat to fruit orchards, and experts are not sure how destructive they might become.

The ubiquitous brown bugs with a citrusy or piney scent are making their way into Pennsylvania homes, previewing the hordes likely to appear late this month and next as the weather cools.

Fruit orchards are apparently starting to lose significant amount of product to stink bugs. Who knew these somewhat cute little critters could be so potentially destructive?

Stink bugs can eat almost anything and so far have no natural predators in the U.S. No one knows if their damage is going to spread to other crops. ...

The bugs do their damage by sticking their mouth parts under the skin of the fruit, injecting saliva and sucking out the juice, Mr. Krawczyk said. The fruit dries out from the inside and becomes brownish and distorted in a characteristic fashion called "cat facing."

This apparently caught a lot of people by surprise. I'm serious, though. If an overabundance of these shield-shelled bugs mean there are going to be less Honey Crisps -- the first batch of which are already in the grocery stores, freakin' yum! -- this fall, there's no limit on how much useless complaining I'll do. And nobody, I mean nobody, wants that!

No comments: