Most of the insects you see flying around are native to the area. Though they can drive us crazy, they’re supposed to be here. Other species can end up in new areas, often traveling with goods or people. When these insects pose a threat to the existing ecosystem, properties, or your health, they are considered an invasive species. We’ve made a list of some of the recent insect species to invade the United States.
Black Bean Bugs
The black bean bug made its debut in the United States just a few months ago in Florida. It is a small insect reaching about 5mm in length. This Asia native has a shiny black body with thin yellow markings. The W-shaped marking behind its head helps to distinguish it from other species. The black bean bug receives nutrients by sucking the juices from plants, which results in plant damage. Since the bug is relatively new to the area, it is being monitored with hopes that it won’t be a long-term guest.
Asian Giant Hornets
Asian giant hornets have been the talk of the town lately. These hornets are the largest species of hornets in the world. Workers can grow up to 1 ½ inches. They are black and orange with large tear-shaped eyes. These hornets are native to eastern and southeastern Asia, but were spotted in northwestern parts of the United States. This hornet has been nicknamed the murder hornet due to its ability to wipe out honeybee colonies very quickly. It also has powerful venom and while one sting isn’t typically dangerous, unless you are allergic, multiple stings can be deadly.
The spotted lanternfly was first seen in America a few years ago. Unfortunately, its numbers have only grown since then. Spotted lanternflies are native to Asia but have now been found in states on the East Coast. Adults are quite colorful with gray and black spotted forewings and red, black, and white hindwings. They are about ½ inch wide and 1 inch long. These bugs won’t bite or sting you, but they can cause damage to plants and trees. If you spot their gray egg masses on tree trunks, it’s best to carefully scrape it off and place it in rubbing alcohol.
Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs
Though squashing bugs is a normal response, you may want to hold off attacking one of these stink bugs. The brown marmorated stink bug releases an unpleasant scent when it feels threatened or it’s crushed. These smelly bugs are native to eastern Asia, but they were first identified in the United States in 2001. Over the years, they have become a common sight in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. They have a brown body that’s shaped like a shield and they grow to about ¾ inches in length. Not only do they have an unpleasant odor, they also like to inhabit homes during the winter and can cause plant damage.
Asian Long-Horned Tick
Another species that is a more recent invader is the Asian long-horned tick. It made its way to New Jersey in 2017 and it’s now established in several states. Like other ticks, it feeds on the blood of its host. These ticks prefer animal hosts, but they will feed on humans. Asian long-horned ticks are small and reddish-brown. They’re often seen in sunny, open areas of land. Despite their name, they aren’t just native to Asia. These ticks have taken up residency in Australia and New Zealand. In their native countries, they’re known to carry human pathogens, but those found in the United States haven’t tested positive for these pathogens. However, they can transfer diseases to animal hosts.
Though it may not seem like new bugs stopping by is a major problem, their arrival can have negative consequences. It’s common for invasive species to lack natural predators, which can make it difficult to control their population. If you’re dealing with your own invading bug army, we want to help! Check out our Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective Pest Control products.