The Asian brown marmorated stink bug that has caused damage to numerous crops is now a concern to wineries in Virginia, Oregon, Washington and California.
The stink bugs were first found in the United States in Allentown, Pa., in the late 1990s. Native to China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan, the stink bugs have no natural predators in the U.S.
The bugs are a nuisance to farmers due to using their tongues to suck juice from fruits and vegetables. While this does not influence the flavor of the produce, it does leave visible damage that makes it less appealing to shoppers. Crops such as apples, peaches, blackberries, sweet and field corn, soybeans, tomatoes, lima beans and green peppers were all damaged last season.
This year, wineries have noticed the insects clinging to grapes that are being harvested for wine, according to usnews.com. If the stink bugs get crushed with the grapes, it only takes 10 of them crushed into one ton of grapes to affect the flavor of the wine. Workers who harvest the grapes have been removing the insects from the clumps by hand.
Scientists have been searching for a way to combat the stink bug problem. One area of research involves using the Asian wasp. The non-stinging wasps lay their eggs inside of the eggs of the stink bugs. The developing wasps then eat the developing stink bugs.
Tests are still being done to determine if the wasps would cause additional problems if they were introduced to areas of the U.S. The tests could take an additional two years to complete before the wasps would be approved for use in orchards, vineyards and gardens.
Warmth is forecast to build over much of the eastern half of the nation by July, with Alaska of all places helping out.
The storms could affect cities from St. Louis to Evansville, Ind., Louisville, Ky., Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio to Huntington, W.Va.
A tornado touched down at Denver International Airport as a severe weather system moved through the area.
Join us on Thursday for AccuWeather LIVE, we will discuss the debate of climate change and hurricane frequency and the top five things you need to know about summer weather.
A slow-moving tropical depression will continue to bring torrential rainfall and the risk of flooding to parts of southeastern Mexico, Belize and Guatemala into midweek.
Some of the warmest weather of the year will continue across Alaska over the next few days, challenging more records.
Indianapolis, IN (1992)
The control tower at the airport was evacuated early in the morning during a severe thunderstorm. One-inch hailstones fell, a 62 mph wind gust occurred, and a tornado was spotted two miles northwest of the airport.
Elizabeth City, NC (1991)
2.83" of rain in 2.5 hours.
New England (1875)
Severe coastal storm (a possible hurricane) from Cape Cod to Nova Scotia. Eastport, MA reported 57 mph winds.