Brown marmorated stink bugs caused an estimated $37 million in losses last year to Mid-Atlantic apple growers, according to an estimate released today by the U.S. Apple Association.
The estimate was developed at the request of federal researchers who are studying ways to control the new pest, according to a news release.
“The loss to apple growers of $37 million in income in a single year is a very serious matter," Mark Seetin, USApple's director of regulatory and industry affairs, said in the release. "Better methods of controlling this pest are badly needed.”
USApple developed the estimate using monthly inventory figures from apple storage facilities along with data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service.
Despite the damage, most apple growers were still able to provide quality apples to the market last year.
Since the brown marmorated stink bug, a native of Asia, was first confirmed in the United States in Allentown, Pa., in the mid-1990s, it has spread to 32 other states and the District of Columbia.
It has a wide host range, including many fruits, vegetables, corn and even soybeans.