Bugs that stink and devour crops are flourishing in the US from climate change.
That’s according to research by scientists published in the Pest Management Science journal, claiming that global warming could cause the brown marmorated stink bug to multiply in the country by 70%.
Comparing differing climate scenarios with available data on the bug’s presence in various states found that global warming will bring the ponging pest into many more homes in the coming years.
Lead author Javier Gutierrez Illan said: “Every system will change with climate change, so the fact that you can grow garbanzo beans, lentils or wheat without these pests now, doesn’t mean that you will not have them in a few years.”
The insect first appeared in the US two decades ago – and has since reached 46 states and become a pest in 15 of them, the study finds.
This will grow heavily in California, Idaho and the Mid-Atlantic, as climate change worsens.
Dr Illan added: “By analysing future climate scenarios, we showed that [the bug] populations have a large potential to continue to expand within the US and particularly northward.”
Crops and homes could begin to reek on a large-scale if climate change isn’t curbed, the scientists warn.