Bug Blog

The Insects That Are Literally Stinking Up Paris

The world is full of unpleasant insect species that either bite or sting, but very few offend people’s sense of smell. However, of the several insect species that emit a foul odor, none is more well known than the Asian stink bug, or the brown marmorated stink bug as they are commonly called in America. Stink bugs are native to China, Taiwan, North and South Korea and Japan. These bugs are certainly considered pests as they inflict a tremendous amount of crop damage in their native regions as well as in the United States, where stink bugs were accidentally introduced in 1998. However, not long ago, the Asian stink bug found its way into Europe, where it has been spreading rapidly. Now, Asian stink bugs have established a sizeable population in France where they are stinking up the city of Paris. Residents of Paris are not responding well to the foreign invaders, as they have never had to tolerate the persistent foul odor that follows stink bug populations everywhere they go.

In Asia and America, stink bugs inflict millions of dollars in crop damages every year, making them pests to rural areas more so than to urban areas. However, you would not want to say this to a Parisian, as stink bugs are now invading the glamorous city for the first time in history, and their stench is following them. In an effort to escape the deadly cold of winter, stink bugs sometimes invade urban locations looking to hold up within warm homes and buildings until the spring season arrives. This is exactly what is happening in Paris today, but since the stink bug was first spotted in France as recently as 2015, residents of Paris are ill prepared for handling stink bug infestations.

Many Parisians are simply stomping on the invading stink bugs, which is not advisable, as they emit foul odors when they are threatened. The foul fumes emitted by a stink bug become particularly odorous after stepping on one, which could explain why stink bug odors are uniquely intense in Paris. According to a French biodiversity expert, Romain Garrouste, people all over France have been complaining about stink bugs and their odor constantly since early last September. In addition to their odor, people in France are taken aback by their relatively large size and their rapid reproduction rates, which is why they can establish an invasive presence in a short span of time. Many French people who are not used to stink bug invasions may not realize that the insects continue to emit foul odors even after they are killed, which is why proper disposal methods should be considered before killing a stink bug.

Have you ever found a stink bug within your home?