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Stink bug threatens wine grapes

The Asian brown marmorated stink bug that has swept into 33 states and the District of Columbia, destroying peaches and apples along the way, has a new target: wine grapes. Researchers tasked with tracking the bug and finding a way to kill it now say that wineries in Virginia and out west in Oregon, Washington, and parts of California are under attack.

From U.S. News & World Report:

The Asian brown marmorated stink bug that has swept into 33 states and the District of Columbia, destroying peaches and apples along the way, has a new target: wine grapes. Researchers tasked with tracking the bug and finding a way to kill it now say that wineries in Virginia and out west in Oregon, Washington, and parts of California are under attack.

"Some vineyards and some growers have been wiped out in the last year," says Virginia Rep. Frank Wolf, who is taking the lead in Congress on the issue. "They are devastating the vineyards."

With peaches, apples, and even berries, the major issue is the visible damage a stink bug does. On apples, for example, the bug will insert its tongue into the fruit and suck, leaving a "corky dry area" that's visible to shoppers, says Tracy Leskey, an Agriculture Department entomologist who's co-leading a national working group researching the stink bug. "It looks bad," she says, though it won't affect the flavor.

For more, see: Foul Stink Bug Targets Wine Grapes

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