Posted: 5:27 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013

Area stink bug population exploding


“If you crush them, they’re going to stink,” photo
Matt Rourke
FILE - This April 14, 2011 file photo shows a brown marmorated stink bug at a Penn State research station in Biglerville, Pa. The bug that attacks fruits crops, including wine grapes, has shown up found in the Oregon towns Hood River and Rogue River, both orchard centers. Researchers at Oregon State say the spread of the brown marmorated stink bug is significant because of the damage it has cause in mid-Atlantic states. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
Area stink bug population exploding photo
Staff photo
A stink bug is seen Wednesday on the door of a Kettering restaurant.
Area stink bug population exploding photo
Matt Rourke
In this Thursday, April 14, 2011, shown is are brown marmorated stink bug egs at a Penn State research station in Biglerville, Pa. The relatively new pest originally from Asia is threatening to wreak havoc on mid-Atlantic orchards. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

By Andy Sedlak

Staff Writer

The area’s stink bug population is soaring to such a degree that one local exterminator has deemed the insect the “bug of the year.”

“Some years it’s wasps … Asian Lady Beetles were a problem for a couple years,” said Ken Packard of Dayton-based Bugs or Us Pest Control Inc. “This year it’s stink bugs.”

Stink bugs, which have small heads, antennae and large arrowhead-shaped backs, don’t pose a threat to humans and there’s no evidence that they can cause damage to homes. But Pam Bennett, horticulture educator at the Clark County Extension Office of Ohio State University, said they’re capable of sucking the juices out of fruit and vegetable crops.

Stink bugs were first discovered in Pennsylvania in 1998, Bennett said. They migrated to northeast Ohio and now appear to be spreading laterally across the state.

“People visiting that area can (sometimes) bring them down on their vehicles and things like that,” she said. As a result, populations can be hit or miss.

“We’ve got a pretty good upswing right now,” she said.

Packard said he can attest to that. The exterminator of nearly 20 years has been working from sun up to sun down and 2013 is on track to be a record year in terms of sales and treatment numbers.

The insects carry a reputation of being hard to get rid of.

“It’s not uncommon to see 10, 20, 30 of them on a window screen,” he said.”The sun heats up the house and the flying insect will gravitate to the heat, away from the cold.”

Packard said the bugs can sneak into living spaces through the cracks and crevices of a home. This becomes more common in the winter.

Stink bugs earned their name by producing a pungent odor for a few minutes if smashed.

“If you crush them, they’re going to stink,” Packard said.

Lee Miller, of Beavercreek Twp., said he has noticed several on his car and around his garage in recent months. He said they truly are “nuisance pests.”

“They pretty much smell like a skunk,” he said.


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