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Stink bugs make it to Chicago area

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM

Stink bugs — long a scourge of the mid-Atlantic states — have made it to the Chicago area.

The aptly named pests have been spotted in recent months in Geneva and Western Springs. Homeowners reported an infestation in Geneva last fall and in a yard in Western Springs in January, according to Kelly Estes, state survey coordinator for the Illinois Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey program.

The confirmed sightings so far in the Chicago area are “very low level,” but that will likely increase as they spread and people come to recognize them, says Estes.

Experts say they’ve now spread to 33 states and are likely to spread further.

The brown marmorated stink bug emits a foul stench when frightened, disturbed or squashed.

Sightings have been hard to confirm because Illinois has native species of stink bug that are different from the marmorated brown stink bugs, which are thought to have first come to the United States from Asia in the early 1990s.

The bugs, which can destroy crops, have also been spotted Downstate, Estes says.

Gannett News Service, Kim Janssen

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