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Aliens Among Us – Kind Of

Flickr user Dendroica cerulea

This week we reported on an invader from Afghanistan that showed up at the Joint Base. No, it had nothing to do with the war on terrorism, it was an insect.

The moth that was discovered is from a species that is usually found in Europe. It may not sound like a big deal, but do you recognize that pest in the picture to the left? The Stink Bug has become familiar to us here in Ocean County, but only in the last couple of years. They’re actually native to Asia and were only documented here in the US as recently as 1998. Since then, the little critters have become familiar sights to many of us in New Jersey when the weather starts to get warmer (although so far they don’t seem to be as ubiquitous as they were last year).

Believe it or not, “invasive species” can actually do huge amounts of damage and cause chaos in their non-native surroundings, just take a look at what happened in Australia when the European Rabbit first hopped off a boat in the late 1800′s.

Oh, and by the way, going back to the Stink Bug for a second, just a bit of advice…if you see one in your kitchen, don’t step on it. They’re called “Stink Bugs” for a reason!

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