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Stink Bugs make seasonal invasion of East Tennessee homes

5:18 AM, Sep 27, 2012   |    comments
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  • Results of what stink bugs could do to some vegetation.
    

Stink bugs are back, and it doesn't seem like they're going away any time soon.

"It's call the Sevin," explained Loudon co-op employee Misty Freeman as she was talking to a customer on the phone about a problem in his home. "It should take care of your stink bugs."

It's one of the many calls she received this Wednesday about the foreign and foul pest that's coming into more East Tennessee homes.

"They're really coming on (customers') porches and everything and they're really a nuisance. More-so than ever before," she added.

The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug has been slowly crawling into more homes every year. They were first discovered in Tennessee in 2008, coming south from Pennsylvania, where they were first discovered in the mid-1990s. The insect is native to Asia.

"It's the first time we've seen this particular stink bug in the (Loudon) county, being an exotic pest and so forth," said UT Extension Agent John Goddard.

The bug has been discovered locally in Knox, Blount, Grainger, Loudon, Sevier, and Hamblen Counties. Hamilton, Davidson and Sullivan Counties have also recorded instances of the bug according to the University of Tennessee.

For the most part, they damage vegetation, but they're better known for the defensive smell they leave behind.

"It can be very frustrating to get rid of, and the perimeter outside treatments are important to keep them out," said exterminator Dayton Hylton. "It's possible that because we had a mild winter and it was warm pretty early this year, that we could see more of them this year."

So what to do to get rid of them? The best way to get rid of the bug is to prevent it from coming in your house in the first place. Remember to look for drafts in windows and doors and seal them up with caulk or duct tape. Experts also recommend using pesticide a few days a week if you've spotted the bugs at your home.

Misty Freeman gave that same advice, hoping these new visitors won't be a mainstay.

"Maybe if we're getting a good frost like we're hoping for, they'll go away," she smiled.

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