You may have had experience with the little bug known as a stink bug, especially if you have lived up north. They tend to leave an odor around them that is not so pleasant, hence the name stink bug. But the bug has been a major pest for farmers throughout the southeast and into the northeast as well. To see large version of map click here
The bug feasts on crops and leaves a chemical scent that allows other stink bugs to find the source of food that they have discovered. Crops such as grapes, sweet corn, and apples have been affected by these insects. They are not so prevalent down here in Florida, though they do get detected and are dealt with from time to time.
One of the newer techniques used to deal with this pest is setting up something called a “trap crop”. This crop is made from expendable plants that the farmer will sacrifice in order to keep the bugs away from their cash crops. Technology created at Virginia Tech has allowed the farmers to place the stink bug pheromone in the trap crop to divert the pest and limit their damage.
This foray into the world of bug smells is one the first of its kind and it is hoped by many that this development of pest warfare will reap future benefits for farmers.
There are a variety of stink bugs world-wide which this process can be used to control. The scientists are at the very precipice of this field of study.