About three or four years ago, during the winter, I started noticing bugs, like the one pictured above, hanging on the curtains in the living room. Every year we have a battle with ants, but these were something I had never seen before. I would carry them outside and set them free. Well seems that was a mistake. Every year there have been more and more of these brown Asian stink bugs sneaking into the house and shop.
Seems that they were first sighted in Allentown, PA in 2001 and are now being found in MD, NJ, NY and VA and are invading homes and destroying crops. They have no natural predators and the are no chemical recommendations for home use.
One evening this past summer, I came down from the studio and when I entered our bedroom, the curtains were covered in these ugly brown bugs. We have an air conditioner in one window of the room and I can only imagine they were able to sneak in around that. I started picking them off , and yes they do stink when you scare or smash them. I ended up pulling out the vacuum and sucking them off the curtains, then quickly removing the vacuum bag and taking it outside to put in the trash. However, I was finding them all over the house so that isn't the only place they are coming in. As the weather started getting colder, I was finding more in the house, many were dried up little carcases, lying on their backs with their creepy legs sticking up in the air. I guess they came in to die. However on New Year's Eve, as I was in bed watching tv, the darn things were dive bombing me. It's creepy enough to see one crawling across the ceiling or hanging on the curtains, but they were hitting me and landing on the bed. I ended up turning off the light on the night table as I think the light was attracting them, they really weren't attacking me. But I still don't know where the little stinkers were coming in.
As horrible as it is for homeowners, we can at least try keeping doors and windows closed and filling in cracks and openings that may stop the bugs from getting in. I've heard that Dawn dish detergent and water sprayed on them will kill the creepies. But farmers in Maryland were hit big last summer. I believe I read 20% of crops around Frederick and Thurmont were lost due to this pest. I know my daughter lost her tomato plants in her backyard garden. Stink bugs just sucked the life out of them. This infestation could really affect our food supply and there doesn't seem to be a way to stop it.
So what will the summer of 2011 bring? I plan on doing my part. I certainly will not set them free, like I did when I first started noticing the brown bugs in the house. I am going to spray them with Dawn and water and then flush those stinkers!