While the bugs are harmless to people and pets, hearing one buzz by or finding one in your laundry basket can be quite unnerving. And the Washington Post reports that some residents of West Virginia and Maryland are finding thousands of the insects sunning themselves on their homes. "I have never seen anything like this in my career," Tracy Leskey, a government insect researcher, told the newspaper. A Virginia homeowner is pictured in the New York Times removing the bugs in buckets.
Officially known as the brown marmorated stink bug, the pest is native to Asia and was discovered in Pennsylvania in 1998, according to entomologists at Penn State University. Now the bug has been found in at least 30 states where it's become a threat to fruit and other crops.The stink bug has no known predator in this country. But that doesn't mean homeowners are defenseless.
In fact, by getting rid of the stink bugs you may come out smelling like a rose. The reason? The bugs get in the same way that cold or warm air gets out. So caulking and covering those cracks and crevices not only stops the stink bugs but puts a halt to energy losses as well. “The main thing you want to do is seal them outside, and the best way to do that is to start with a pretty thorough home energy audit," says Eric Day, an entomologist who runs the insect identification lab at Virginia Tech University.
If more than a few bugs have already made it inside your home, avoid killing them with pesticides—especially those meant to be used outdoors. Removing the bugs with a vacuum is the best way to go, says Michael Raupp, a professor of entomology at the University of Maryland. Using either a wet/dry vac or a vacuum with bags, remove any attachments that may crush the bugs as they are being sucked in. Otherwise, you'll end up with a foul-smelling machine.
“We always remind people that these things aren’t going to bite you and pets,” said Raupp. “They’re primarily a nuisance, but vacuum them up and put them in the trash, and that will be a much saner approach than trying to hose them down with insecticides.”
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The National Association of Stink Bug Admirers disapproves of vacuuming to discard our crawly friends as a mere step away from critter genocide.
NASBA my not go as far as labeling fish as "sea kittens" as PETA does but... consider... ponder... what if there IS reincarnation and your granny returned as a stink bug?
How would YOU like being sucked in by a rushing torrent of air and discarded akin to an unwanted politician, tossed out to be absorbed by a corporate entity so as to be paid ridiculous sums of money for having been a good lackey of the ruling class?
These are invasive species to North America with no predator to keep them in check via natural predation. They provide not benefit to man or the native animals in North America. A true pest to organic and local farms, they are having a significant impact on crops and the livelihood of those farmers.