A 'creepy' invasion - stink bugs are settling into homes around Oregon
SALEM, Ore. -- Stink bugs are moving indoors for the winter and your home is their target. But what can you do about these creepy invaders?
Not much, according to an entomologist with the Oregon Department of Agriculture. Helmuth Rogg has been studying the brown marmorated stink bug for several years. He says it is mostly considered an agricultural pest. It can do significant damage to all our local crops, from berries to fruit trees and even hops.
The bug was first discovered in Oregon in 2004, and has spread significantly throughout the state since then. Pesticides don't work on the massive invasions, so the Department of Agriculture is working on a natural predator for the bugs -- a tiny wasp.
The experiments so far are in a quarantine facility. They have to be cautious, says Rogg, "Because it's also an exotic species, a parasitic wasp. And so we don't want to throw it out already without knowing what it could cause."
The concern is the wasp could go after native species they don't want it to kill.
Tests are continuing, and they hope to have it ready for release sometime in the next year or two. So what does that mean for the average homeowner? If pesticides don't work, what do you do?
Rogg says to vacuum up the stink bugs and then release them outside or just deal with them individually as they come into the house. He also says to make sure all your doors and windows are sealed tightly. That can help to keep them out.
The worst thing of all? Next year's "invasion" is supposed to be even worse.