Maryland farmer Nathan Milburn recalls his first encounter.
It was before dawn one morning in summer 2010, and he was at a gas station near his farm, fueling up for the day. Glancing at the light above the pump, something caught his eye.
“Thousands of something,” Milburn remembers.
Though he’d never actually seen a brown marmorated stinkbug, Milburn knew exactly what he was looking at. He’d heard the stories.
This was a swarm of them—the invasive bugs from Asia that had been devouring local crops.
“My heart sank to my stomach,” Milburn says.
Nearly three years later, the Asian stinkbug, commonly called the brown marmorated stinkbug, has become a serious threat to many mid-Atlantic farmers’ livelihoods.