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East Asian Stink Bug That Destroys Fruit Discovered Living In England

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East Asian Stink Bug That Destroys Fruit Discovered Living In England

Just when you thought there was nothing more this bizarre and terrifying year could throw at us, environmentalists in Essex have confirmed an invasive stink bug - which is exactly what it sounds like - has been discovered living in a nature reserve.

Don't worry though, as it's not altogether that bad.

The East Asian stink bug has been known to decimate crops, and survives by destroying soft fruit such as apples to eat.

Also, it gets the name stink bug because when you disturb one it can release an horrendous stench that lasts for ages and can cause allergic reactions.

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All creatures great and small, eh?

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

This particular one is the brown marmorated stink bug and is native to East Asia. It can cause havoc for home owners by creeping in through cracks in old windows and some door frames, or basically any cranny big enough.

Once in, you want to get it out as quickly as possible, because if disturbed or swatted it can release that aforementioned stench which earns it its name.

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Farmers have been working hard to keep them out of the United Kingdom, because they've caused chaos in certain parts of Europe and the United States, but an adult has now been discovered at Rainham Marshes RSPB reserve in Essex.

The bug is known to particular enjoy eating more than 100 species, including some we really like such as raspberries, peaches, apples and plums.

Once it finds the food it desires, it sucks the juices out of them, leaving them deformed and rotting from the inside out.

They've been known to decimate entire crops when found in large numbers.

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However, it's not likely to be a big deal for us, because in our climate it's there will probably only be one generation of them every year, meaning the kind of numbers needed to severely pose a threat can't be spawned.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Dr Glen Powell, an entomologist from the NIAB EMR horticultural research institute, told MailOnline: "The bugs may be actively dispersing in search of mates and food plants."

The bugs look a bit like an ordinarily British shield bug, and can be around two thirds of an inch long. They're likely entering the country in imported produce and goods.

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So, if you see one, it's better to just keep it away from your fruit bowl, and try to get it out of the house without disturbing it too much.

Nobody needs to smell what these little critters are capable of producing.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: UK News, Weird, Animals

Tom Wood
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