The brown marmorated stink bug, a pest from Asia, has been spotted in the UK for the first time, which is quite discomforting for growers across the country. The stink bug originates from South East Asia but has invaded the US and parts of Europe in recent decades.
Scientists have warned for years that it was only a matter of time before it was found in the UK. Now experts at the Natural History Museum have confirmed three sightings: in London, Essex and Suffolk.
The stink bug gets its name from the unpleasant almond smell it emits as a defense against predators. If the bug gets into grapes used for wine making, the smell can taint the flavour of an entire vintage.
Apart from winemakers, farmers growing soft fruits and vegetables such as plums, cucumbers, and tomatoes consider the bug a pest because of its habit of piercing holes in crops, ruining their appearances and making them more vulnerable to fungal diseases.
Photo source: Dreamstime.com