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Winter wipes out some, but not all stink bugs

Mark Heyne

If you thought this cold, snowy winter would take care of the stink bugs that have been crawling around your house, you've probably been surprised to see the invasive pests still skulking about.

"Most of the stink bugs people are seeing walking around in their offices, in their homes, spent the winter in the buildings someplace, probably up in the attic or some protected area," said Entomologist Gene Kritsky, professor of biology at the College of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati.  "They're active now because it's beginning to get warm."

Kritsky said they're trying to get outside to find a mate and produce the next generation of stink bugs.  

The stink bugs most of us are seeing are not the typical North American varieties.  These are brown marmorated stink bugs-- an invasive species that came from Asia.  They were first found in Allentown, Pennsylvania in the late 1990's and have been spreading since then.

Other than producing a bad smell when they're threatened, stink bugs don't pose any kind of health threat.

Kritsky said the best way to control them is to keep them out of your home.  You should check around your house for any area they might be getting in, such as a window air conditioner or attic vent.