BALTIMORE (CBS NEWS)-- The invasion of stink bugs from Asia may have finally met its match: the polar vortex.
CBS Baltimore's Alex DeMetrick reports freezing temperatures this winter are stopping at least some of the bugs cold.
The polar vortex that reduced Maryland to a snow globe this winter may have put a big chill on Asian stink bugs.
"Boy, I sure hope so," said Mike Rapp, a University of Maryland entomologist.
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Rapp is encouraged by the research of a colleague in Virginia who left a colony of the bugs outside.
"He left it out during the polar vortex, and he saw a kill rate of something like 95 percent," Rapp said.
That'swelcome news. Ever since its arrival from China a decade ago, thenon-native stink bug has been chewing its way through mid-Atlanticcrops.
By 2011, researchers in the field were trapping growing numbers in Maryland, and they were worried.
"Thisis a very significant pest that's going to have some real ramificationsif we can't get it under control," said Bryan Butler of the Universityof Maryland Extension Service.
Some control did come from heavy rains and a growing taste by native predators for stink bugs.
Now subfreezing temperatures have helped.
"Ithink we could be cautiously optimistic that some stink bugs inunprotected locations may have really taken it on the chin," Rapp said.
Butstink bugs have survived millions of winters in China, and they'lllikely pull through this one in Maryland, especially all the ones thathave moved indoors with us.
"Our homes, our tool sheds, heated buildings provide an excellent overwintering refuge," Rapp said.
Scientists see signs the extremely cold weather might have overcome a major stink bug defense.
The insect is capable of changing its blood chemistry into something resembling anti-freeze.
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