CATALINA JARAMILLO / WHYY – The peaches look far from perfect in Rutgers University Agricultural Research and Extension Center’s experimental orchard in Bridgeton, New Jersey. The orchard is not managed with insecticides, and many peaches lie rotting on the ground.
Entomologist Anne Nielsen watched closely as a bug walked over a peach.
“So now it moved to the leave right there,” she said. “Do you see it?”
The brown marmorated stink bug, an invasive insect the size of a dime that was accidentally imported from East Asia — most likely in a shipping pallet — was first spotted in Allentown, Pennsylvania, more than 20 years ago. With no natural predators, it quickly became a pest, causing catastrophic damage on farms across the U.S. …