Stink bugs to invade UK homes and gardens

·1-min read
Stock image: A green stink bug (Nezara Viridula) is seen at a garden in Mexico City (AFP via Getty Images)
Stock image: A green stink bug (Nezara Viridula) is seen at a garden in Mexico City (AFP via Getty Images)

A stink bug which can infest homes has been found in Surrey.

Originally the brown marmorated stink bug is from Asian but has since spread its wings to Europe and the US.

The insects - which have a identifiable rectangular-shaped head - can spoil crops.

This summer RHS Garden Wisley caught a single bug in a pheromone trap - meaning it may have hitch hiked a lift to the UK on imported goods.

However, head of plant health at RHS Garden Wisley Dr Glen Powell lifted the lid on how stink bugs could become popular in gardens and homes within the next decade in the UK.

He said: “This isn’t a sudden invasion but potentially a gradual population build-up and spread, exacerbated by our warming world.”

The trap was set as part of a national monitoring project.

It has been funded by Defra and organised by NIAB EMR, in Kent.

No eggs have been found yet which would suggest it had set up home here.

It remains unknown if stink bugs have been living undiscovered in the UK or whether they are just making rare trips on imported goods.

Dr Michelle Fountain, head of pest and pathogen ecology at NIAB EMR, said: “The brown marmorated stink bug represents a significant threat to food production systems in the UK so it is crucial that we continue to monitor any establishment and spread of the pest.”

Already 40 species of shield bugs live in the UK.

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