Brown marmorated stink bugs invading homes

POLK COUNTY — The Oregon Department of Agriculture is receiving a number of calls from residents concerned about brown marmorated stink bug populations in and around their homes.

The invasive insect species was first detected in Oregon in 2004 and has established itself in several urban areas. It is spreading to suburban and rural communities.

It is not a structural pest, according to a release from the ODA, and does not pose any risk to human health. However, it releases an unpleasant odor when disturbed and can cause damage to agricultural crops and home gardens.

The best advice to reduce the bug is to be sure points of access to buildings are sealed.

The bugs are seeking a place to overwinter, and keeping them out of the house in the first place is the easiest way to stop them.

Spraying poison is unlikely to rid a home of these bugs, said Jim LaBonte, ODA entomologist.

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