Peach farmers in southern Illinois worry about stink bugs

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Peach orchard owners in southern Illinois say they’re worried about brown marmorated stink bugs this season. Chris Eckert runs Eckert’s Country Store and Farms south of Belleville. Eckert says he’s starting to form a strategy to defend against the crop-damaging insect. The Belleville News-Democrat reports the bugs are native to east Asia and are known for eating fruits like apples and peaches. They have been known to be in Madison and St. Clair counties for two years. Ron Weigel owns Weigel’s Orchard and Market in Calhoun County north of Belleville. He says he checks his trees regularly for the stink bug but hasn’t found any. The bug is one of several harmful species on the agenda this week at the Illinois Invasive Species Symposium at the University of Illinois.