WASHINGTON – They swarmed in the garden, covered screen doors and camped out on porches across Washington this fall. This summer, the stink bugs will be back.
“They are on the same schedule they were in 2010, and if you recall, 2010 was their breakout year,” says Mike Raupp, professor of entymology at the University of Maryland.
But stink bugs don’t seem to be popping up in great numbers yet.
“They’re beginning to show up in our commercial fruit orchards now,” Raupp says. Soon, gardeners will see the beetles go after tomatoes and peppers.
“Given the warm weather, we’re going to see that awful second generation of that nefarious pest,” says Raupp. “So I wouldn’t be surprised if the worst is yet to come.”
Raupp suggests homeowners arm themselves with a jar or bucket of soapy water and drop adult stinkbugs into the mix.
“I’ve found these guys are not good at the backstroke, so if you drop them into the soapy water, you’ll cut down on future generations,” Raupp says.
To take it a step further, look for egg masses on the underside of leaves around the garden.
“They’re round like little globes, and they’re white to pale green in color,” according to Raupp. “They turn darker just before they hatch.”
WTOP’s Kate Ryan contributed to this report.
Follow Kate and WTOP on Twitter.
(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)