Stink Bugs Make A Comeback In Maryland

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — They’ve been bugging people all winter long. But the Maryland homes Asian stink bugs have been sheltering in are poised to become the launching pads for a full-scale invasion.

Alex DeMetrick reports the attack could hit local crops hard.

For a foreign invader, Asian stink bugs have been making themselves at home all winter in Maryland. For some, it’s been a last stop. But only some.

 “I hate those stink bugs. They live all winter.  I’m still picking them out of the house,” said Janet.

“The spring’ll bring a load of ‘em,” said Dennis.

What’s crossed our paths at home will soon be heading back outdoors to mate in massive numbers.

“Some entomologists have been quoted to say it will be biblical. So it will almost be like a plague,” said Dr. Paula Shrewsbury, University of Maryland.

By the end of March, stink bugs will be with us in force, and they’ll come hungry.

What feeds them in the lab will soon be feeding them on Maryland farms. Most fruits and vegetables are vulnerable. And not long after orchards bloom, Asian stink bugs will be arriving.  They did last year.

“We have apple growers in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia that have lost 80 percent of their crop due to this,” Shrewsbury said. “Growers have had family farms for multiple generations say if we can’t help them control this pest, they may lose their crops.”

That makes this bug more than just a nuisance for Maryland.

It’s believed Asian stink bugs arrived five years ago by cargo container to the Mid-Atlantic. They have no natural predator.

  • Steve

    they have no ability to swim, so i throw em in the toilet, and watch em go round and round and away they go

    • dvh

      But then they pop back up once the swirling stops!

    • Rachael

      you actually should NOT flush them. they can swim and survive in water. you dont want them in your septic system. You should put them in a cup of soapy water. They cannot survive in the soapy water – but regular water they are fine.

      • J-Dub

        Yes…make up a solution of soapy water and spray them.

        Works great

  • ben

    they never went away at my house

    • joe McAvoy


  • Frank Ivins

    like Ben I’ve been seeing a couple a month all winter.

  • Donna Garcia

    They never went away for me. I live in Pa and have had them all winter long. Not as bad as the summer. There seems to be several kinds. And they get mad. And I am going to go mad if they don’t do back to where they came from.

  • marian

    i, too, still have them. i use my computer spray (the coooold kind) to freeze them after i swatted at one and it came after ME. my cat and dog both run from them after killing one each. i hate those things

  • Mindy

    They never left my house either. My dog loves them.

  • Zach

    My Pookie likes belly rubs. Stink bugs DO NOT. Lesson Learned. Now my fingers stink.

  • ron

    one per day recently

  • lou

    i know that dish sope and water combind kills them i have noteced that the like light so take a trash can fill with water and sope hook a light up over it thay kill them selfs >note thay still stink the place up but perhaps a toilet freshiner might help with the stink in the water

  • churchlady

    I use tissues to squash them but sometimes the stink get on my fingers. Isopropal alcahol will cut the stink and then I can wash my hands…

  • Kathryn

    I keep getting one every couple of days thru the winter. I catch them (FYI stink bugs do not bite or sting) & put them outside and notice that they die right away when it’s cold. Obviously they are coming from somewhere in the house. I do have some large houseplants that summer outside and thought maybe that was where they are coming from? Since they die in the cold, they must be hiding somewhere in the house, however I have never found one, they just seem to appear in the evening, attracted by the light. Does anyone know where they might be hiding in the house or could they be in the soil of the houseplants and crawling or hatching out?

    • janine

      katheryn i have noticed that they are comen in through batroom vents and heat ducts from the roof they hidse under the shingles on the roof and i found that they work ther way down in to the house byt any means of craxk vent or what ever i was so infested with them last year and i have had one to two every night all winter i hate them and i need some means of how to get rid of them i wish that they would stop talken about them and tell uis how to get rid of them .. anyhow just wanted to anwser your question on how i have found them to get in

  • churchlady

    The bugs had entered the attics and rooftops of structures. they are attracted to light and seek out a window or lightbulb whenever…We have had 2 to 6 a day the intire winter. My cat locates them for me and i dispose of them asap.

  • TLC

    I have been killing at least 4 a night – agreed they like the night and the lights. Also, agree soapy water kills them or at least water. They are a nuisance. I haven’t noticed the smell from them as bad as last year though at least not here in Northern Baltimore County.

  • crystal

    we have them in Kelowna, BC Canada too! very slow movers….

  • LLB

    They may be here for the cure. Only time will tell~

  • StinkBugWorstEnemy

    I don’t believe the cold kills them. I believe the bugs go into hybernation as I have witnessed this occurance. I like the tip about the soap and water and I’ll try that. The Stink Bug war is on.

  • sharon

    yes..they never left my house as well…I’ve had to do an extermination that’s how bad they were; and they do get mad and fly right toward your direction seemingly to attack….I dont think they have very good vision though…ugh-I hate them!!!

  • pigeon

    Year round nuisance here in Parkville.
    The article states that “they have no natural predators here”. They are from Asia. So what is their natural predator there, if any?

  • Eric

    Not sure why WJZ is saying they are coming back. They never left. Talked to some people who did remodeling this winter, and these jerk-bugs were behind siding or in the attic or behind shudders. My parents found hundreds of them in their third floor clothing storage room, nestled in their coats and such. Sub-freezing temps will kill them, which is why they are hibernating in all of our houses. To make matters worse, they suck on plants like gigantic aphids when they are active. I hate these frickin bugs. And if you think that’s fun… the only natural predator in the area is the “wheel bug”. Google “wheel bug” and you’ll wonder which is worse.

  • more problems

    I hate them 2 I wish it was something that could make them go away last summer I couldn’t even enjoy my crabs out on the deck all because of them I have seen a few n my home this winter and I’m afraid of them

  • stephanie

    I was told by a very wise woman that if you squash them they leave a scent that attracts more and more. I stopped squashing them before they got bad last year and I didn’t have many at home at all. At our shop, we had squashed them and they were out of control and we’ve continued to have them all through the winter just not as bad, but we know it’s coming 400 fold….

  • stephanie Whippo

    Why isn’t the local, state or federal government stepping up to eradicate this disgusting pest?

    • burns

      $$$$$$$. Why aren’t they stepping up, firing all the bad cops, hiring all the new road crews, buying new fire stations, cracking down on crime, ect, ect, ect.

  • beverly

    I too have had them all winter. I have killed them by putting in a plastic bag and freezing them.

  • Marlene

    They’re not just in the house, we’ve had them in our cars too. I also found one in a lawn chair when I unfolded it.

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