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EPA Grants Temporary Pesticide Use For Stink Bug Emergency

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Brown marmorated stink bugs have been destroying crops, so the EPA is temporarily expanding pesticide use to fight them.
Sabri Ben-Achour
Brown marmorated stink bugs have been destroying crops, so the EPA is temporarily expanding pesticide use to fight them.

Seven states, including Virginia, Maryland and Delaware, had asked the EPA if they could use a pesticide called dinotefuran on peaches, apples and pears. It's already used on some crops including grapes.

Researchers say it's not a silver bullet, but it's the best shot they have right now at controlling the brown marmorated stink bug. The stink bugs are native to Asia but were introduced in Pennsylvania in the '90s and have been growing in number here. The insects caused an estimated $37 million in damage to Virginia's apple crop in 2010.

The pesticide is toxic to bees, and farmers are asked to apply it after bees have finished pollinating orchards. The EPA's temporary approval of the pesticide expires in October.

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