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Friday, October 01, 2010

Stink Bugs Are On Their Way To Cincinnati: If You Hate Bedbugs, Catch A Whiff Of This

From New

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Holy halitosis!  These pests are said to give off an odor that resembles sweaty socks, or ammonia, or cilantro.  And the Asian insect invader known scientifically as the brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys, is headed to our town.  In fact, it already is around, although not in  swarms currently driving Americans bonkers in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland.  They are about an inch long and are making themselves comfortable, way too comfortable.  News reports are describing a plague of stink bugs skittering into homes and workplaces as they seek shelter from the coming winter. The headlines are squeezing Cincinnati's bedbug infestation into a footnote.  The bugs look for cracks to crawl through.  They line up on roofs that face South.  They don't bite.  And they don't use Old Spice.   Stink bugs get their name from a foul smelling liquid they create to deter predators.  If you find a stink bug in the house, it is best to flush it down the toilet.  Freeing it outdoors is not an option -- it will help the swarm reproduce quickly.

Ohio State University researchers say they found the first sign of stink bugs in Ohio just under three years ago. At that time, the colony wasn't breeding -- that's changed. The stink bug is a plant pest that immigrated into the United States from its home range in Japan and China. Another global import. Here's what OSU Extension Service reports:

"Sometimes called the yellow-brown stink bug, or the East Asian stink bug, it was first reported in the United States in 2001 from Allentown, Pennsylvania. It has since spread to New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia, the District of Columbia, New York . . . Specimens have also been found in Massachussetts and Ohio . . . The brown marmorated stink bug feeds on fruits and seed pods of a wide range of plants. It is also a nuisance pest that invades buildings in the autumn."

That nuisance pest part looks like an understatement. In today's Pittsbrug Post Gazette, Doug Oster said the bugs smell when they're crushed or become alarmed. Some say the odor can make your eyes water. Supposedly, they can be killed by spraying them with soap and water. That means Dawn detergent is in the arsenal. Hoppy Kercheval in West Virginia reports the infestation really, really stinks:

"The stink bug has reached Biblical plague proportions in the eastern portion of West Virginia, parts of Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia. My brother, like everyone else in the region, is overwhelmed. 'Oh, God, it’s horrible. They’re everywhere,' he told me. 'I’m not even holding ground. I’m losing ground.' As he spoke to me by phone Thursday, there were a dozen or more stink bugs flying around the light above his head in his office."

"Jefferson County Extension Agent Craig Yohn talks about the stink bug as though he were referring to a nuclear blast. 'The epicenter for this year is in Smithsburg, Maryland,' Yohn said on Metronews Talkline this week. Yohn told me the stink bug has also moved into the crop fields, hitting peach and apple orchards particularly hard. 'When they find something good that they like, they send out a message of a pheromone that... stinks and draws their friends,' Yohn said. The infestation is worse now because the bugs sense winter is coming. As the days shorten, they start moving indoors, looking for places to spend the winter."


  1. Oh no they're on the move. My family in Virginia said they are having horrendous issues with stink bugs. I live in Arizona and am pretty sure we don't have them here. I sent my family some stink bug prevention tips I found online. They said they're helping a little. Hopefully these bugs keep moving and pass through Ohio quickly, just as long as they don’t come to Arizona.

  2. Arizona doesn't want stink bugs, another immigrant problem. Will cops have to stop all six-legged critters to see if they belong in the U.S? Will there be rumors of stink bug beheadings in the desert?

  3. not an "Asian insect invader "
    but an undocumented bug.

    1. This is an Asian Insect invader, and listed as an invasive species not native to the continental United States. It was most likely a hitchhiker on imports of fresh fruit,plant material from China as this is the Unites States major import partner. Biosecurity controls such as madatory fumigation of plant and plant material imports will assist. as for getting rid of them...nothing has been successful thus far...

      I live in NZ and we have really stepped up our Biosecurity controls to avoid this pest.

  4. I really hate stink bugs, the infesting in our house during at night and leaves a nasty odor and not just one but lots of them. ewww....

  5. In late 2009 I moved from Cincinnati, which had then and now a scary bedbug problem, to Los Angeles, which so far seems to be unaffected by it. Now I hear that stinkbugs are on the way to the Tri-state area (sounds like an episode of Phineas & Ferb!). Again, so far, nobody in Southern California has experienced this problem. For the above reasons alone I am glad I made the move west.

  6. Bathe her with plain dish soap to wash it off of her fur.
    Cats get issues with stuff on their fur because
    when they lick themselves to clean off, they swallow any nasty chemicals are on their fur.
    If you can't bathe her, take her to a groomer ASAP to have it done. As well as take her to the vet if she starts showing any kind of signs like vomiting or being extremely tired. To an emergency vet since today's Sunday.
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  7. There are 10-20 stink bugs on every window in the house. AHhhhhhhhhhh!! Holy stink bug invasion!! ~Cincinnati

  8. My family is on the outskirts of Cincy, we got these bastards everywhere, we also have some green ones around.