Stink Bug Invasion Marches on Chicago Area

You may have seen them--brown, flat bugs crawling around your door and window frames.

They’re stink bugs and bug experts say if you see a few now, you can expect many more as fall goes on.

They’re brown and big, according to Ellen Zinsmeister, who had one in her bathtub.

“Actually my daughter saw it. Who’s an adult, this is her son and she came running to get her dad,” Zinsmeister said.

The creepy crawlers are brown marmorated stink bugs. If you’re seeing them now get ready.

“There will be more and more as we get through October into November," said Doug Taron, entomologist and chief curator at Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. "Unfortunately for the near term I would expect numbers will be going up.”

He says stink bugs came to North America 20 years ago from Asia. They’re harmless to humans, but this year the pests are more prevalent.

“It is the nature of a lot of these insects to have boom or bust years and this may be something of a boom year,” Taron said.

Right now the stink bugs are coming inside because they are looking for a warm place to spend the winter, so it’s up to the homeowner to keep them out.

Check your screens for holes and add extra caulk or insulation to door and window frames.

If one gets inside “squishing them is going to cause more problems than it helps,” Taron said.

That’s because stink bugs, when squashed, release a smelly fluid that can stain--so experts suggest you drown them in soapy water or suck them up in a vacuum.

“When I vacuum them I try to change my bag fairly quickly because they will make it stinky,” Taron said.

If you haven’t seen or smelled one yet--just wait.

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