Stink Bugs Making Their Way Across The U.S.
April 4, 2011 by Special To Personal Liberty
They bite, they eat your plants, they invade your homes and they emit a horrible smell when crushed or smashed—and they’re showing up all across the United States. They’re the brown marmorated stink bug, and they’ve been reported in 33 states already this year, according to news reports.
The bugs came to the U.S. from China, Japan and Korea and began showing up in 1998 in Pennsylvania. Since then they’ve been spotted in all across the country, except for the Rockies and Plains States, and most recently they’ve made their way into Washington, Arizona, Georgia, Vermont, Wisconsin Minnesota and Michigan.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the brown marmorated stink bug feeds on a variety of plants, including fruit trees, ornamentals and some crops. But the real problems come when they find their way into homes, which they do by flattening themselves out and squeezing under doors and windows or by hitchhiking on clothing and bags.
"I would say people now regard them as an out-of-control pest,” Kime Hoelmer, a research entomologist at the USDA in Newark, Del., told USA Today.
Experts say that if they find their way into your home the best way to get rid of them is to pick them up in a tissue and flush them down the toilet. If found inside in large numbers, experts say a vacuum cleaner is the best method to remove them from the house, but the vacuum bag should be disposed of immediately to reduce the chance of the smell getting into the vacuum cleaner.
The bugs are susceptible to poisons, but when poisons are put out the bugs just avoid the area until conditions improve enough for them to return, according to entomologists.