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Stink Bugs Pose Agricultural Threat

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(Source: KDKA)

(Source: KDKA)

WEXFORD (KDKA) – The number of stink bugs around the area keeps increasing. Not only are they a nuisance, they’re a threat to local agriculture.

Now that spring is here, the stink bugs are on the march. While homeowners complain about the uninvited pests invading their homes, the bugs are worrying farmers in a big way.

“What will be the magnitude? They don’t know what the magnitude will be coming out of the spring. It doesn’t look good,” Reed Soergel of Soergel Farms said.

The little monsters are already invading homes and if you are in agriculture, you are worried about the bugs eating up your profit or future.

“We lost on certain things, up to 80 percent on certain apples. When you get down into Maryland, last year, it was devastating. When you’d walk into orchards, they were hitting you on the side of the head just walking through. We don’t have that problem yet,” Soergel said.

Soergel is the commander in the war against stink bugs at the farm. However, he’s just one man against a countless enemy.

“Every stink bug if it goes through four generations will produce 90,000,” Soergel said.

The good news is that Penn State has announced a new grant to study how to beat the stink bug.

Farmers are hopeful, but they’re not the only ones desperately hoping for an answer on how to get rid of stink bugs.

“The hotel industry is putting money into it because of every room they have to replace every time somebody finds a stink bug in their room. There’s also other industries. I mean, even the state is working on how to combat the thing. This will be a learning year on what to do with it,” Soergel said.

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