Stink Bugs Invade Eastern US

Vacuum these well-armored critters, experts advise
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 23, 2010 5:27 PM CDT
Updated Sep 26, 2010 12:24 PM CDT
A stink bug crawls on newly-blossomed bright yellow crocuses Thursday, March 18, 2010, in Newtown, Pa.   (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
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(Newser) – Stink bugs have infested the eastern US, devouring crops in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and nearby states, CBS News reports. The brown marmorated stink bug has no interest in people, but farmers hate the insect because of its voracious appetite for crops and because it, well, stinks. (When threatened, it emits a "pungent odor," notes the Roanoke Times.) "This is definitely the worst year for them that we've seen," says a Penn State horticultural assistant.

The Roanoke newspaper, which rounds up complaints from people who have the heebie jeebies from seeing dozens of the critters hanging out on their screens, points out another creepy fact: The bugs are looking for a winter home, so if they get in the house, they're likely in for months. The only good news is they don't bite humans or cause structural damage to homes. Entomologists caution against using pesticides; alternatives include knocking them into a bucket of water with a broom or using a vacuum. For news on that other invasion, the one by bedbugs, click here.
(Read more Pennsylvania stories.)

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