Question: My pears develop large, dark brown splotches on their surfaces just as they start to ripen. What causes that, and is there a good control?

Answer: That’s stink bug damage. The insects carry a fruit-rotting fungus on their bodies. You won’t be able to spray specifically for the stink bugs, since they come and go in a short period of time, but regular spraying for other pear insect problems will probably keep their damage in check.

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