Stink bugs invade Ohio before winter

Posted at 2:36 PM, Oct 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-09 14:38:17-04

Ohio homeowners could be out of luck if stink bugs make their way inside before the cold weather hits, according to experts.

People generally don't see too many of the brownish-gray bugs until late autumn, and there won't be many outside by the time the first freeze of the year hits, the Mansfield News Journal reports.

Homeowners will have a tough time getting rid of the bugs if they make their way indoors, pest control experts say.

One good defense against the bugs is to keep them from entering the home in the first place. Homeowners should make sure all doors, windows and roof lines are sealed tightly, said Tammi Rogers, the agriculture and natural resources program assistant with the Ohio State University Extension Office in Coshocton County.

"You cannot get rid of them," Tamara Gerhardt of Absolute Pest Control Services in Mansfield said, noting there are not any known repellents for the insects and spraying a home will not eliminate all of them. "You can only minimize them."

Many people throw the bugs outside, flush them in the toilet or crush them, though squishing them releases the notorious odor for which the insects are named, Rogers said.

A new version of the bug was accidentally introduced from Asia in the 1990s and reached Ohio in the early 2000s. The non-native species doesn't have natural predators, allowing its numbers to grow exponentially, Rogers said.

"Since it's a new pest, we're not sure how it's going to be manifest," Rogers said. "I suspect we'll have years where their populations are quite high and then years where you won't see very many of them."