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Massive Stink Bug Invasion Sweeps Northeast and Midwest

Close-Up Of Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

Parts of the Midwest and Northeast are in the midst of a massive stink bug invasion. Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and other states are reporting ongoing attacks by the nasty Asian imports — and they're nearly impossible to eradicate.

MLive reported: "The brown marmorated stink bug, an insect that's relatively new to Michigan, might be poised to cause some serious problems for our state's agricultural industry. That's on top of the nuisance these slow brown buggers are creating for homes this time of year, when the bugs seek out warmer environments as the weather cools."

In Pennsylvania, CBS Pittsburg explains: "With fall now in full swing, the unwanted house guests are making their way indoors to escape the cooler temperatures." The report goes on to note that "if they seem more prevalent, they are. Good Housekeeping says the annual migration is leading to larger numbers than ever before."

Dave Shetler from The Ohio State University Extension Office says that he had three emails from "panicked homeowners saying their homes have been overrun." And Extension agent Tim Malinich reported seeing "an arborvitae in Northeast Ohio that was covered so heavily with the bugs that it appeared to be moving."

Connecticut resident Michael Pagani told Fox 61 that after moving into his house two weeks ago he noticed stink bugs flying around.

"My daughter, I got a 13-year-old she’s screaming all over the house and gets my son going and the dogs start barking and yeah, it’s a big pain in the butt," said Pagani.

Sometimes referred to as the "skunks of the insect world" stink bugs arrived in the U.S. from Asia sometime in the '90s, possibly in a shipping crate, and multiplied rapidly, spreading across the U.S.

While it might seem easy enough to kill them on sight, that's not recommended because of the putrid odor they excrete when crushed or burned — or even annoyed. Some describe the smell as a cross between dirty socks and rotten cherries. To me, it smells like that syrupy sweet kitty litter-like stuff they used to put on puddles of vomit in school — after it's been poured on the vomit.

Entomologist Dani Fischer said, "My dog ate one once when I was living in Yorkville, and the next thing you know was foaming at the mouth." I can confirm that dogs hate these things. My yellow lab, who will eat just about anything not nailed down, runs away if he finds one on the floor.

In addition, the bugs are a menace to farmers, feasting on corn and soybean crops.

As I sit here writing this on my deck in Northeast Ohio, I'm swatting away stink bugs that are flying into my hair and clinging to my clothing — at a rate of approximately one every three minutes. I am not exaggerating. I'm very close to losing my ever-loving mind because of these little gray nasties: