I think that may be the first headline I've ever written that actually gave me the creeps. It's not often you can work the words stink, bugs, crawl, and your house into the same sentence unless you're the subject of a TLC series.

However, being creeped out by the thought isn't going to make it go away, as anyone who's lived in the Rockford area for any length of time can attest. Right after you finish dealing with an over-abundance of wasps and yellow jackets, you get to deal with another pain-in-the-butt pest.

Unlike the wasps and yellow jackets, the stink bug (or, Brown Marmorated Stink Bug) isn't going to sting you. So, we've got that going for us, but that's about it.

We're into September now, and that means that fall will be upon us shortly, which also means that stink bugs will be looking for a place to freeload over the winter. Your place is looking good to them right now. Let's just hope they come in a smaller mob than the one that visited some folks in South Carolina.

Not every homeowner has a stink bug horror story like that of Pam Stone and Paul Zimmerman, who discovered 26,000 stink bugs invaded their home as the cool air of fall came to South Carolina. They had left doors open leading to a second-story deck outside their bedroom, and the stink bugs marched right in as if they owned the place.

They were on every visible surface, and on many that weren't visible. Squashing them wasn't the answer, of course, because it's when they're threatened that stink bugs throw off that gawdawful smell. But when the couple carried some outside, more stink bugs flew in.

So, what are we supposed to do? You've got a couple of choices, really. Experts say that to keep them out, you need to seal every single crack, crevice, and/or hole in your home that's big enough for a stink bug to crawl through.

Unless you're living in a really, really small place, that sounds pretty daunting. If you find them inside your home, it's recommended that you simply scoop them into a bucket that's got some soapy water in it. Don't crush them, don't vacuum them, because if you do--they let the stink fly.

Your last option is to just live and let live. Stink bugs don't sting or bite. They're not in your house for some sort of reproductive orgy. They don't feed on anything or anyone in your house. They're in your house for the same reason that many of us head south in the winter time. They want to get out of the cold, hang out, and get a couple of months of rest. When Spring shows up, they'll leave just like a Florida snowbird.

Scientists are working on a new idea for getting rid of the Stink Bug, but it requires another bug to do the dirty work. Have you heard of Samurai Wasps?


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