Brown marmorated stink bugs like to cluster together as they go dormant over the winter. Maybe, uh, kill them now before they destroy our crops? Just a thought. (Katherine Frey/THE WASHINGTON POST)

The gray scourge of Loudoun County’s lush farmland, the marmorated stink bug, may be back in force in 2013. The Post’s Caitlin Gibson reports that the crop ravaging tormenters appear to be appearing in substantially larger numbers than last seen in 2011, when crops were siginificantly damaged and federal authorities stepped in to help.

For reasons that aren’t fully known, the plague did not return in 2012. But now signs are pointing to a worse infestation than two years ago, when both Rep. Frank Wolf and the Environmental Protection Agency took steps to help local farmers. The problem, of course, was not limited to Loudoun but to much local farmland west and north of Washington. In a cause for further alarm, local vineyards are a prime stink bug target.

For more details, and more gross photos, about the possible pending swarm, read Gibson’s story here.