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Monday
Oct072013

Stink Bug Count Halted By Government Shutdown  

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The Centers for Disease Control is stopping its flu program. The Food and Drug Administration is ceasing most of its food-safety operations. The National Zoo's panda cam has powered down. And add another project to the list of programs affected by the government shutdown: the Great Stink Bug Count.

Researchers from the U.S. Agricultural Department have been furloughed, just in time for high stink bug activity.

The department had been asking people to participate in the Great Stink Bug Count from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, requesting that homeowners count the number of the insects on the sides of their house once a day between 2 p.m. and 6 p,m., and provide additional details like the color of the home, elevation, and plants surrounding it. However, since the shutdown on Oct. 1, the website for the program has been temporarily disabled.

The stink bug, also known as the brown marmorated stink bug, is the USDA's top "invasive insect of interest" and has been found in 40 states. The mid-Atlantic states, including Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, have the largest and most damaging infestations.

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ABC News Radio