Knox County has highest amount of stink bugs statewide

Knox County has highest amount of stink bugs statewide

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Since stink bugs were discovered in East Tennessee in 2008, they've continued to become more pervasive and cause more problems for home owners. Since stink bugs were discovered in East Tennessee in 2008, they've continued to become more pervasive and cause more problems for home owners.
Pest control technicians say a majority of their house calls are now dedicated to stink bugs. Pest control technicians say a majority of their house calls are now dedicated to stink bugs.
"When I first started two and a half years ago, they were not common. Now, they are just as common, if not more as ladybugs and our fall invaders," said Brad Scott, a pest control technician for Dayton's Pest Control. "When I first started two and a half years ago, they were not common. Now, they are just as common, if not more as ladybugs and our fall invaders," said Brad Scott, a pest control technician for Dayton's Pest Control.
"The most important thing to do is to pest-proof, to seal up the entries into the structure," said Dr. Karen Vail, University of Tennessee professor and extension urban entomologist. "The most important thing to do is to pest-proof, to seal up the entries into the structure," said Dr. Karen Vail, University of Tennessee professor and extension urban entomologist.

By MIKE KRAFCIK
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - It's that time of year again when a certain smelly pest starts to invade our homes looking for a warm place to spend the winter. 

Since stink bugs were discovered in East Tennessee in 2008, they've continued to become more pervasive and cause more problems for home owners.  

Brown marmorated stink bugs have exploded in growth in Tennessee since arriving from Asia.

Knox County has the highest number of them anywhere in the state in 2013, according to University of Tennessee researchers.  

Pest control technicians say a majority of their house calls are now dedicated to stink bugs.

"When I first started two and a half years ago, they were not common. Now, they are just as common, if not more as ladybugs and our fall invaders," said Brad Scott, a pest control technician for Dayton's Pest Control.  

The bugs are typically attracted to light colored structures and enter homes through cracks and crevices.  

As temperatures get colder, stink bugs will want to travel from the outside to the inside of the home.  

Experts advise homeowners to seal off any entry points, like cracks found on brick, siding, and window and door frames.  

"The most important thing to do is to pest-proof, to seal up the entries into the structure," said Dr. Karen Vail, University of Tennessee professor and extension urban entomologist.

It doesn't end with the stink bug. Following in its footsteps, though smaller in size is the kudzu bug. After spreading from Georgia to Tennessee in 2012, the kudzu bug has spread to over half the state.  

"They are basically a miniature version of a stink bug, and what they do is they follow the same patterns as lady bugs and stink bugs that work their way into home during the wintry months, so they can hibernate and produce in the spring," said Brad Scott.  

If these pests have already made it inside, homeowners can buy a trap, make one themselves or just suck them up with a vacuum.  

Stinkbugs can also destroy crops like apples, tomatoes, and peppers, among others.  

If you encounter a stink bug, experts recommend not to step on it, since they have a tendency to release a bad-smelling odor. Instead, use a vacuum cleaner.

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