Scientists studying the brown marmorated stink bug are enlisting the public for help in tracking the pests in Pennsylvania.
Penn State researchers and the state Department of Agriculture have set a new website to gather data about the insects.
They want farmers, homeowners and anyone else who finds stink bugs to report their location on the site.
Penn State entomologist John Tooker says the data will help researchers predict where the bugs may be headed next.
“In some senses, it’s not that different from weather forecasting. If we’re able to understand why the insects are showing up in, say, York County, then maybe we can help use, take that information and help predict when and where they might show up in other counties,” Tooker said.
Tooker says a shop vac is the easiest way to get rid of the pests.
They pose no threat to people but can damage crops such as apples and peaches.
Researchers have confirmed stink bug populations in more than half of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties, but they think the insects may be in every county.