Scientists have verified that brown marmorated stink bug, an insect that releases an unpleasant almond-like odor, has arrived in Britain.

Scientists have verified that brown marmorated stink bug, a tiny flying insect that releases an unpleasant almond-like odor, has arrived in Britain after it possibly hitched a ride on packaging crates.

The Guardian described the bug as brown, stinky, and will cause worry and apprehension among apple and other fruit growers.

Additionally, the insect, which looks akin to native shield bugs, is considered a pest in the United States and in Southeast Asian homes as it creates and leaves brown marks on fruits and vegetables like apples and cucumbers among others, making them less aesthetically attractive for buyers and thereby reducing their value.

The said news report specified that this invasive stink bug would worry the burgeoning wine industry of Britain. If substantial numbers move into bunches of grapes, their smell, a defense mechanism, can infect the wine’s delicate flavor.

Discovery in the UK

The brown marmorated stink bug, as seen on the YouTube video below, was first detected in the gardens of natural History Museum in 2020. It has since turned up at a residence in Surrey.

The bug species’ spread has been mapped by the researchers at the museum and horticultural research institute NIAB EMR in a paper published in the British Journal of Entomology and Natural History.

Senior curator Max Barclay who’s in charge of Cleopatra forecasted in 2014 that it was just a matter of time before the arrival of the stink bug. Now, he said it has, and it would not be possible to eliminate it.

Barclay added that these bugs would establish pretty fast. This has been seen in a lot of invasive species in the past. The curator continued explaining that soon, the bugs would be everywhere.

He also specified that the harlequin ladybird from China arrived in 2006, and to date, they are immensely abundant.

How the Stink Bugs Arrived

Barclay said, since stink bugs are moving indoors to hibernate during the winter, they will have arrived in shipping crates, pallets and packaging from global trade.

Characterized by mottled brown shield-shaped

casing, the brown marmorated stink bug has a similarity with the native shield bugs and another mottled shield bug which came in from Europe in 2011, in terms of their physical appearance.

There are larger bugs in the United Kingdom, Barclay explained, although none of the native species are considered agricultural pests of any implication.

These stink bugs also go after a great range of fruits and vegetables, so people are very concerned and apprehensive about it.

The stink bug entered the US in 1998 and quickly established itself as an agricultural pest with its feeding impairment estimated to have caused $37 million of apple losses in 2010.

How to Get Rid of Stink Bugs

The expert explained that the harlequin ladybird population spiked but is currently dropping again. This takes place because the predators and parasites, as well as the diseases that are linked to these things, ultimately catch up with them.

This invasive species is making a nuisance of itself before it gradually moves into the background and becomes part of the established fauna. With climate change, said Barclay, and global trade, these stories will become more frequent.

Originally published at The Science Times