Experts: Stink bug invasion may be worse than ever

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PITTSBURGH —

They're back! Channel 11 News viewers called, emailed and wrote on WPXI's Facebook page to talk about the return of stink bugs, and it seems the invasion is worse than ever before.

Experts said the cooler weather over the past few weeks has left the annoying bugs searching for a warm place to hibernate.

Washington resident Bobby Buckner allowed Channel 11's cameras inside of his home to show just how bad the problem is.

"There were probably 1,000 at least. They were all over the windows, the columns, the walls, the floor. You couldn't even walk out here without being attacked," Buckner said.

WPXI Facebook fans sent dozens of photos showing hundreds of the bugs covering everything from walls to windows.

Even Steelers pro bowler James Harrison is battling the bugs. On his Facebook page, Harrison said hundreds, maybe thousands, were outside of his home.

Channel 11’s Jodine Costanzo went to Tara Zawodni’s Irwin home along with an exterminator Wednesday to check on her problem.

“They’re all over my siding, on the siding, on the dormers, on top of the house and all over the windows,” Zawodni said.

Because of the hot summer, entomologists with the National Pest Management Association said residents should expect much higher populations of the brown marmorated stink bug.

Douglas Reilly, who works for Court Exterminators, said exterminators are a safe and smart option for those with a large stink bug problem, but not for those who have a small problem.

“Seal up all cracks and openings. Any small gap or quarter-inch gap, they can get through,” Reilly said.

Since the bugs first became a problem in Pittsburgh, Target 11 has tested traps to stop the bugs from entering homes.

Many are now sold in hardware stores.

Experts said the best way to keep them from entering your house is to seal cracks around windows and doors. They also said to keep outdoor lighting to a minimum since stink bugs are attracted to light.