Asian Stink Bugs Are About To Swarm Quebec, Biologists Warn
The population has tripled since 2014.
You might've seen (and smelled) a few of them around the city this summer, but biologists at the Université de Montréal warn that the Asian stink bug is about to pose a serious problem for Quebec.
According to a report from CBC News, the Asian stink bug, officially named the brown marmorated stink bug, is primed to invade farmland in the East and North of Quebec. Usually only found in urban areas, changing temperatures could force the bug to migrate.
The stink bug invaded farms in the United States in 2010, causing millions of dollars worth of damage to crops. Since it was first detected in Montreal in 2014, the stink bug population has more than tripled.
The stink bug gets its name from the foul smell it emits when it's crushed. It was accidentally introduced to the U.S. in 1998, after stowing away on a flight from China. It has been a persistent problem for farmers ever since.
It was first seen in Ontario in 2010.
It's usually no more than a couple of centimetres long and if left unchecked, can ravage a crop in a few short days.
Female stink bugs can lay up to 400 eggs in one lifetime. The bug has thrived in North America because of our excellent summer climate.
Stink bugs love to feed on fruit crops and leafy plants like lettuce. It also has a taste for corn and soy, which are some of the most common crops in Quebec.
The city of Montreal acknowledges that stink bugs are rampant in the city and have a released list of preventative measures for all residents.
The stink bug is no more than a nuisance and bird food in the city. Biologists, however, warn that the bug is likely to migrate to parts of Eastern and Northern Quebec thanks to climate change.
According to Global News, stink bugs survive Canadian winters by taking shelter in homes and lying dormant until spring arrives. You can trap stink bugs by creating a makeshift trap with some water bottles.
Biologists say that farmers should install preventative measures such as "insecticides, biological control and select plants that are resistant."
Let's hope the crops will stay bug-free. After all, we all remember what happens when bugs are left unchecked, right?