Stink Bugs Are Chewing Through Maryland Gardens: What To Do

Brown marmorated stink bugs are moving in gardens across Maryland, causing damage to crops and plants. The shield-shaped insects are known for their distinctive odor and ability to destroy fruits and vegetables. But what can Maryland gardeners do to protect their gardens from stink bugs?

First, it’s essential to understand stink bugs’ life cycle and habits. Stink bugs lay their eggs on the underside of leaves in the spring, and the eggs hatch into nymphs in early summer. The larvae go through several stages before reaching adulthood in the fall. Adult stink bugs then seek shelter in homes and other buildings to overwinter.

You can take several steps to protect your garden from stink bugs. The University of Maryland Extension recommends using physical barriers to keep stink bugs out of your garden. This can include row covers, netting, or other materials that create a barrier between the bugs and your plants. You can also use traps to catch stink bugs before they can do damage to your garden. Several types of traps are available, including light traps and pheromone traps.


Another option is to use insecticides to kill stink bugs. However, using these products carefully and according to the label instructions is essential. Some insecticides can harm beneficial insects and pollinators, so choosing safe products for your garden ecosystem is necessary. The University of Maryland Extension recommends using insecticides as a last resort only if physical barriers and traps are impractical.

In addition to these methods, several cultural practices can help reduce stink bug populations in your garden. The University of Maryland Extension recommends removing any weeds or debris around your garden, as these can provide shelter for stink bugs. You can also plant trap crops, such as sunflowers or sorghum, to attract stink bugs away from your main crops.

It’s important to note that stink bugs are a persistent pest, and it may take several seasons to see a significant reduction in their populations. However, by combining physical barriers, traps, and cultural practices, Maryland gardeners can protect their crops and plants from these destructive insects.

In conclusion, stink bugs are a common pest in Maryland gardens, but there are steps that gardeners can take to protect their plants and crops. By understanding the life cycle and habits of stink bugs,

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