If there was one thing good to come out of the nonstop bitter cold storms that hit the Northeast this winter, fruit growers thought it might be fewer brown marmorated stink bugs this season.
But Virginia Tech entomologist Tom Kuhar says don't get your hopes up too high.
He recommends that growers continue to monitor their crops in mid to late spring for initial in-migration, according to a Rutgers University fruit pest advisory.
Insects have something similar to antifreeze in their hemolymph, or blood. The brown marmorated stink bug, for example, can withstand temperatures down to 5 degrees Fahrenheit.
That's out in the open, but this stink bug tends to seek shelter in houses, other structures and dead tree stumps.
Snow also acts as insulation.
Japanese growers believe that lots of snow means lots of stink bugs.
Research by K. Kiritani in Japan has shown that the brown marmorated stink bug is better adapted to survive cold winters than any other stink bug.
His work and that of others have found that regardless of the weather, BMSM morality is about 20 percent.