Go after remaining stink bugs now

Kristi King, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – Break out your shop vac. Hold your nose if necessary.

Stink bugs are hunkered down for winter. And, it’s a good time to go after them.

You’re likely to find Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs now in protected places, such as under siding or in your basement or attic, according to University of Maryland Professor of Entomology Michael Raupp.

Depending how ambitious you feel, stink bugs can be vacuumed up easily enough. Raupp also recommends light traps you can get at the hardware store.

Or WTOP Garden Editor Mike McGrath says you can make your own light trap using a lamp covered with sticky cardboard.

The pests tend to be little more than an annoyance to most homeowners. But Raupp says stink bugs wintering among house plants can damage them, discoloring leaves with brown spots.

And there are plenty of stink bug horror stories related to getting rid of them. A Fredrick county woman needed 17 stitches after tripping and hitting her head while trying to kill a stink bug. Her family car also fell victim to a stink bug that clogged up the vehicle’s air intake. The car needed a tow.

Raupp says it can be hard to predict insect population trends from year to year, but there were fewer stink bugs here in 2011 than 2010. Any you get rid of now won’t be crawling out of your house to reproduce in the spring.

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(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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