Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

September 21, 2012

Va. Tech researchers take aim at stinkbugs


Associated Press

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) — Virginia Tech researchers are working to stop the spread of a voracious insect with an unsavory name.

Stinkbugs have been discovered in 20 counties in the state, and they’re expected to spread to even more localities. The thumbnail-sized insects attack a variety of plants, from soybeans to fruits. Stinkbugs were blamed for munching as much as 20 percent of the vegetable crops two years ago.

Tech researchers and extension agents are working with farmers and scientists in the mid-Atlantic states to monitor the spread of stinkbugs, and how to minimize their damage. One approach is assessing how much pesticide needs to be used on a soybean field to combat the pest.

The bugs have spread to at least 30 states.