Stink bug found in Europe for first time

The brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys) has been discovered eating its way through shrubs in Zurich, the first time it has been seen in Europe.

This content was published on April 9, 2008 - 16:35

The bug, which is harmless to humans but considered an agricultural pest in its native East Asia, was one of five insect species found in Switzerland for the first time in 2007.

It was reported in five different places in the Zurich area, where one infestation destroyed an ornamental shrub, according to the Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research on Wednesday.

Experts said they weren't sure how the bugs arrived in Zurich, but assumed they had hitched a lift on an ornamental plant from Asia. Such insect stowaways are increasingly frequent as a result of a more mobile and global society.

They added that changes in temperature, above all milder winters, increase the chances of such insects surviving.

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