Saturday, September 25, 2010

What kind of bug is this?

I'm wondering which of my friends has the best shot of helping me here. Could it be Warren? Or Melissa? Or someone who perhaps has a hobby of bug-identification that I don't know about.

In any case, my Lantana Camara plant has been getting some brown spots recently. I live in the Washington, DC area, and purchased it at a local Home Depot. It has been doing very well for months now.

Until the visitor.

I don't know who he is. I've seen up to three of them at a time. They are a little bigger than my thumbnail, and can fly, although they usually crawl. Once I spied one nestled near some of the berries on top, perhaps sucking nectar from them.

I know just enough about gardening to know about good bugs and bad bugs. I've been flicking them away from my plant for a week now, assuming them to be of the devilish variety, but I wish to know more about my erstwhile foe. So, can you tell me what kind of bug this is?


Zeyev said...

Did you read this morning's Post? I think you'll find the answer there.

Jonathan Rubin said...

Thanks, Warren :) You never disappoint. Stink bugs???? That smells :(

Zeyev said...

But wait, there's more. Here's a story from this morning's Sun. The funny part is that Bartlett campaigned on a pledge never to ask for Federal funding for anything. Hmmm.

Congress joins fight against stink bugs
Farmers want broader pesticide use

By Frank D. Roylance, The Baltimore Sun
9:05 PM EDT, September 25, 2010

Members of Congress from Maryland, Pennsylvania and three other states under siege by the brown marmorated stink bug are asking federal authorities to allow farmers to fight back with pesticides that are not now approved for such use.

Rallied by Maryland Republican Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, 15 members signed a letter Friday to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, arguing that "if we fail to take action … damage from this insect could prove to be a national crisis."

Farmers in Maryland and other Mid-Atlantic states are reporting significant crop damage — 20 percent or more in some orchards — from the invasive Asian species.

The congressional letter asks the USDA to "fast-track" reclassification of the stink bug, Halyomorpha halys, from a nonregulated pest to one that is regulated. That would allow the EPA to approve the unregistered, emergency use of any pesticides found to be effective. Many existing products don't work because of the insect's feeding and over-wintering habits.

Greg Rosenthal, spokesman for the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, said the agency has not yet seen the letter. But, he said, the service "is convening a New Pest Advisory Group to consider the regulatory status of the pest."

The letter also asks the USDA to fund expanded monitoring, control and eradication programs, and to work with universities and private companies to register pesticides found to be effective.

"Time is of the essence," the bipartisan group wrote. "The goal is to marshal all available government resources to develop an effective control than can be implemented by next spring." Besides Bartlett, signers include Maryland Democratic Reps. Frank Kratovil, Steny Hoyer, and C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, as well as members from districts in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Oklahoma and California.

Melissa. said...

In Portuguese they are called FEDEGOSOS... meaning: STINKERS! Really... that's what you got!

shesthesheriff said...

Give up gardening and buy an Xbox