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Study: Cold winter wiped out stink bugs - abc27 WHTM

Study: Cold winter wiped out stink bugs

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YORK, Pa. (WHTM) -

They won't do us any real harm, but still we can't stand those stink bugs. 

"If you step on one or kill one, they really stink bad," said Thomas Scott of York.

"Four years ago they were everywhere," said James Horn of York.

They are still everywhere today, at least in Pennsylvania which is one of five states that has a severe stink bug infestation in both residential and agricultural areas.

"This stink bug has two different ways to survive freezing temperatures," said Virginia Tech Entomologist Dr. Thomas Kuhar.

Dr. Kuhar just did a study down in Blacksburg, Virginia that shows the polar vortex actually did some good.

"The temperatures were definitely low enough to be lethal," said Kuhar.

Kuhar and his students placed thousands of stink bugs in a bucket and left them outside. After the cold air from the polar vortex came and went, this is what they found:

"We suffered about 95 to 98 percent mortality rate of all the bugs in the buckets, which was about 25,000 bugs in general," said Kuhar.

Kuhar admits we will still have stink bugs this season, but we should see less.

"Every cloud has a silver lining, so if the stink bugs aren't as much as a problem then that would be good," said Scott.

For James Horn, it's a tough trade-off: a bitter cold or less stink bugs to deal with.

"Having a cold winter every once in a while is OK. I just wish it weren't quite so long," he said.


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