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Stink bugs big concern for Central PA residents

Updated: Friday, October 4 2013, 06:49 PM CDT
Written by: Chris Papst

Stink bugs are a big concern right now for homeowners throughout the Susquehanna Valley. The bugs are everywhere.

For much of the year, stink bugs want to be in places like orchards where there’s plenty of food.  But now that the weather is cooling off, they’re looking for somewhere warm – like your home, and your options for dealing with them are limited. 

“So, the first thing I do when I get to a place is determine where the entrance spots are.”  Said Andy Shrawder. For the past 13 years,  Shrawder has been exterminating pests.  “What we’re spraying in here is a pyrethroid based product,” he said as he began spraying a home. 

But it wasn’t until about four years ago that stink bugs became big business.
“Right now, probably 60-70% of our calls in the last two weeks are stink bug related,” Shrawder said.

It’s believed stink bugs first arrived in Allentown from Asia, in the late 90s.  From there, they rapidly spread.  And this time of year, with the colder weather, these pests are looking for a little warmth, and an easy way to get into your home. 

Shrawder said stink bugs can get in anywhere. “Another place where stink bugs will get in is around your window frames and another big area is around the bottom side of your siding.”

Stink bugs don’t damage houses, but they do damage crops.  It was estimated, in 2010 the insects cost Apple growers $37 million.

Orchards, like Strites in Swatara Township, do spray for them.  But much like in your home, it’s only temporary. 

“What we do is termed pest control or pest management for a reason, it’s not pest eradication.  It’s control.” Shrawder said.

In addition to calling an exterminator, there are also stink bug traps – which are less expensive.  Shrawder said traps do work, but the scent they use to trap the bugs will also attract more to your property.  Stink bugs big concern for Central PA residents

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