Freezing Temperatures Killing Stink Bugs - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Freezing Temperatures Killing Stink Bugs


SALISBURY, Md.- How do you clean up a stinky situation? Send in the Polar Vortex! Research from Virginia Tech University shows some pesky critters are really "bugging out" from this unusually cold winter. These freezing temperatures have been especially lethal for stink bugs.

"They're smelly and gross," remarked Megan Groseclose. "They're gross. We don't like bugs at all."

"They stink," added Tasha Snoots.

"They hang out on your walls," noted Dee Kelley. "I found one in bed with me the other night. Scared the crap out of me."

"They're stinky," said Nicole Bradford-Robinson. "They're nasty and they've got a bad smell to them."

For those who aren't really fans of these creepy crawlies -- and honestly -- who is? You'll be happy to hear Mother Nature has your back.

"They're actually starving to death now," noted Ginny Rosenkranz of the University of Maryland Extension.

Starving, and freezing, to death, according to a new Virginia Tech study.

Stink bugs are a fairly recent addition to our area, and have become a growing problem, according to Rosenkranz.

"Over the past couple years, the population just built up and built up and built up," she said.

And they have never had to deal with temperatures quite like these.

"What happens with stink bugs is, when the temperatures are very, very cold, they have a type of antifreeze in their bodies that helps them survive the cold," Rosenkranz explained.

At Virginia Tech, researchers found stink bugs placed in insulated buckets and stored outside for the winter saw a mortality rate of up to 95 percent this year, compared to 20 to 25 percent the past couple winters.

Rosenkranz said fluctuating temperatures have been especially tough on the bugs.

"It gets warm then cold and warm and cold and then they use up all their reserves and then they're gone," she said.

Stink bugs are an especially big problem for farmers and gardeners, since they like to feast on crops, fruits and vegetables. Rosenkranz said stink bugs are not native to our area, and there are no potential issues

Rosenkranz said if you find stink bugs inside your home, do not squish them, or your nose will regret it. Instead, vacuum them up.

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