Stink Bugs Dying Off
Inside the Outdoors, October 22, 2010

There’re here, and residents of the Greater Latrobe area and beyond, have reported that this year they are experiencing the presence of stink bugs more than ever.

I, too, have found them on my clothing and even on my bedding where I have laid apparel.

According to Brian Resnick in an article written Oct. 5 on the website,, “This year scientists say there are more stink bugs than ever in the Mid-Atlantic region. They have been wreaking havoc on local produce and have become a common household pest.”

Even as far back as a couple of months ago, I was warned, “Don’t kill those stink bugs. They will put off an odor that can’t be removed from one’s person.” That counteracts the statement one gentle posed to me recently that stink bugs were misnamed because they don’t stink. But that is the farthest from the truth.

Resnick explained, “They have stink glands on their undersides and when agitated they release an unpleasant odor, from which the insects derive their name.”

Another invasive species brought over to this country from Asia, possibly China, eggs or possibly the bugs themselves found their way into this country through customs and settled in Allentown, PA. That is where they would call their home. From there the population grew dramatically, Resnick said.

Looking at it, brown marmorated stinkbugs are strange in appearance. They are easy to spot because of their shield-shaped back.

And even though we are finding them out and inside our homes, farmers are finding this species raising havoc on their crops. One farmer in Maryland told Resnick that he has never seen such a bad infestation of stink bugs in the 50 years he has been farming. He was virtually overrun with them.

“The stink bugs use their tube-like mouths to drink fruit juices and plant sap and in doing so destroy valuable apples and other fruits that are grown in the area,” Resnick reported.

I checked with Nicki Seipio from Laurel Nursery and Garden Center in Latrobe as to the problem, and she told me that the cold weather will kill them off. That’s good news for many people who have been having a hard time coping with them. There are other measures one could have taken to rid their residences of the creatures, Seipio told me, but let’s hope that the change in temperature does the trick.

- Paul J. Volkmann
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