Beyond Bed Bugs: Stink Bugs Seize Hold of Mid-Atlantic States

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Some are calling it the next big insect epidemic: Stink bugs, native to China, now trying to make their way into East Coast homes before winter. (via WSET)

Throughout Virginia and New Jersey, journalists are reporting a surge of homeowners inundated with Pentatomoidea – or Stink Bugs. Yes, they smell bad, and yes, they swarm.

“They are just looking for a place over winter, to stay safe and warm,” Lynchburg Extension Agent Kevin Camm told Virginia‚Äôs WSET.

Stink bugs arrived from China in the 1990s. After a summer full of gorging and mating, they set out to make their way indoors as the temperature drops. (More at NewsFeed: The 10 Things You Don’t Know About Doughnuts)

Relatively harmless to humans, the problems stem from glands that the bugs have between their legs, which produce an offensive odor that is commonly used as a defense mechanism. But in America, there is no natural barrier to their population surge, meaning that besides the weather, they will continue to make the annual autumn pilgrimage into your porch or basement.

Good news: Insecticides will kill the animals. Bad news: It will not dampen the offensive smell. So WSET puts forth two suggestions when it comes to battling the bugs: Have a stink bug-dedicated vacuum, which can be used to capture both live and dead critters, or start up a chicken coop.

Yes, fun fact of the day: A favorite snack for chickens is apparently a bowl full of stink bugs.

The more you know.