Stink bugs invade Pennsylvania

Sept. 22, 2010 at 4:40 PM
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PITTSBURGH, Sept. 22 (UPI) -- Pennsylvania is under assault by stinkbugs looking for a winter home in what scientists are calling an epidemic of the invaders.

Linda Hyatt, a horticulture program assistant for Penn State, says the brown marmorated stink bugs have begun to find their way into homes, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported Wednesday.

The pests have been in Pennsylvania since 1998, but Hyatt calls this year an epidemic.

"This is definitely the worst year for them that we've seen," Hyatt said.

They're called stink bugs because they have scent glands on their bodies, Hyatt said, and leave an unpleasant odor if crushed.

On sunny days the insects will gather on the south and west sides of buildings where the sun is warmest, she said, but as colder weather sets in they will be looking for ways to enter homes.

The bugs don't do any damage, Hyatt said. They don't bite, don't chew on wood and don't reproduce while in people's homes during the winter.

"They're not going to do any damage once they do get in," she said. "They're just a nuisance."

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