Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has confirmed a detection of brown marmorated stink bug in Duluth. This is the first time the pest has been found in St. Louis County. The previous northern-most find was in Wyoming, Minnesota in Chisago County. A student at the University of Minnesota Duluth discovered the bug in the University’s insect collection and recognized it might be the brown marmorated stink bug. Entomologists at the U of M and MDA agreed the insect was the brown marmorated stink bug. The bug was originally collected in January of 2011, inside a Duluth residence. The brown marmorated stink bug is notorious for invading buildings to over-winter in a warm space. While not yet common in Minnesota, brown marmorated stink bug has been found in several metro and one southeastern county. All detections in Minnesota have been within buildings. The adult bugs are a half-inch long, speckled brown and shaped like a shield. The species is distinguished from other brown bugs by an alternating black-and-white color pattern on the margins of its abdomen and dark antennae with light-colored bands. The brown marmorated stink bug is native to Asia, but since its discovery in Pennsylvania in 2001 it has spread rapidly across the United States and can now be found in most areas of the country. Brown marmorated stink bug can be a household nuisance, but according to MDA Plant Protection Director Geir Friisoe, the real problem is the impact they can have on a wide variety of agricultural crops. “Once this insect has become a nuisance indoors, it becomes a concern for producers of everything from soybeans to apples,” Friisoe said. “In the eastern U.S., producers have had severe issues in trying to manage this pest. Minnesota producers need to be aware that this pest could cause similar problems here in the future.” Friisoe says MDA is monitoring the brown marmorated stink bug to determine how prevalent its presence is in Minnesota. He expects it to become a household nuisance before being a severe threat to crops because it moves indoors for the winter, allowing MDA to more easily assess how widespread it has become. Posted to the web by Krista Burns