Stink bugs are back early in Northeast Ohio and stinkier than ever

Stink bugs are back early in Northeast Ohio and stinkier than ever
The Brown marmorated stink bug is invading Ohio. (Source: Wikipedia)

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - They are nasty, native and stinky and you may have noticed stink bugs are around early this year.

"It warmed up early this year so I would expect to see stink bugs and other insects start to move around earlier than expected," according to Gavin Svenson, Assistant Director of Science and Curator of Invertebrate Zoology, with the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.

If you've never seen one, smelt one or had to deal with one consider yourself lucky.

"The stink of this bug is quite distinct," Svenson said. "To me, it is a mix of sour apple and cilantro, but more offensive."

This cat trying to mess with a stink bug says a lot:

Without prompting, our expert offered up the advice that you should eat them.

"While in the field years ago I had the displeasure of having one land on my spoon just before taking a bite of food. The stink became a taste and the taste became a sinus clearing experience."

It seems like there are more than usual?

Svenson says there are several types of stink bugs native to Ohio, but we may be seeing an increase in the number of one type that's only been in the U.S. since 1998.

"The brown marmorated stink bug is an invasive species that is expanding its range into Ohio every year. So it is possible we will see more and more of this particular stink bug in years to come."

The brown marmorated stink bug may have come into the country by hitching a ride on shipping creates from Japan or China and first showed up in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Since then that species has spread west, and is an agricultural nuisance.

How do you get rid of them?

If you spot one in your home and you're going to try to remove it, you're going to smell it whether you try to pick it up and place it outside, or kill it.

"They will certainly stink if crushed, but the chemical smell they produce is actively emitted for predator defense. So any living individual will produce the smell when feeling threatened," Svenson said.

Stink bug likes the warm of your house when it's cold outside.

"The best action is to ensure your home blocks their entry through physical barriers. They are small and can slip in through cracks, windows, and doors." Svenson said.

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