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Asian stink bugs pester Baltimore area

BALTIMORE, May 10 (UPI) -- A Maryland entomologist says experts are studying Asian parasitic wasps as a possible solution to the Baltimore area's Asian stink bug infestation.

Mike Raupp, a University of Maryland entomologist and creator of Web site Bug of the Week, said Asian stink bugs have been spreading in the United States since 1998 and have been a seasonal problem in the Baltimore region for about five years, The Baltimore Sun reported Monday.

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He said each female stink bug will lay about 400 eggs.

Raupp said the bugs are difficult to control because they can fly long distances and release a foul odor when threatened or crushed. He said entomologists are studying the possibility of introducing a species of Asian parasitic wasps because stink bugs "seem to lack an important enemy in this country."

"It's our best option," he said. "Anything that pushes this out of the nuisance camp into the agronomic pest camp is going to accelerate the search for biological control agents."

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