At first it was lady bugs – or more properly, Lady Bird Beetles. Not the American Ladybugs: they are beneficial in the garden and non-invasive: we loved them. But the Asian Ladybugs imported by the forestry department to control their Hemlock Borer infestation became a real nuisance. They forced out the American Ladybugs and preferred to over-winter in our home with us. The American Ladybugs were never so rude as to move in en masse uninvited.
This year there has been a distinct lack of Ladybugs of any nation. Japanese Beetles were bad and I put out traps in an effort to control them, but they still decimated my bean plants.
As fall set in and we braced for the Ladybug war, they have not appeared. But an even more heinous cousin did; the Stink Bug. There are thousands of them in our yard, hundreds crawling on our home; including our porch, and dozens of the odiferous insects in our home.
Where Did These Bugs Come From?
It seems these nasty fellows hitched a ride here from Asia (where else), probably in some packing crates. They were first collected in September 1998 in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
Since then these pests have spread north into Maine and south into Florida, and are now moving west across the entire country. In the past, there have been one generation annually, but recent mild winters and warm springs enable additional generations to reproduce, increasing the population everywhere.