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Stink Bugs Invading The Northeast Region is Nothing New

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In recent days, the topic of stink bugs invading has become a big-time story. I won't bore you with the mundane details about these pets which you already know. They're ugly and the stink when you crush them. No need to re-hash why they stink. We just know they do, appear in bunches, and are darn near impossible to get out of our homes (or apartments) once they get in.

We've all been talking about it for years now and just now media outlets are reporting this story as if it's breaking news. In recent days the "stink bug invasion" has risen to the top of Twitter and Google Trends.

Fact of the matter is these wretched, vile pests have been with us for years. Fifteen years ago, there was no such thing as a stink bug. If you asked your neighbor what one was he'd think you were under the influence of psychotrophic substances. In recent years (you can thank Globalization for this) they have proliferated in our country due to shipments of products from China. They were first spotted in Allentown, PA way back in 1998.

On August 31st, the Philadelphia Inky reported a story, "Stinkbugs are coming to a home near you." Really, they're coming? As far as I know they haven't left since popping up several years ago and it's only gotten worse.

"We're expecting an epic year for stinkbugs," said research entomologist Richard Cooper. "I'm just concerned that this won't be big news until it's too late for people."

Huffington Post is reporting that this is the year of the stinkbug.  

The Washington Post reports that this will be biblical.

So why is a pest that has been annoying the daylights out of us for years just now getting the notoriety they deserve? You can thank bed bugs for that. The media thrives on selling the product of fear and has been pumping out endless copy and broadcasts about bedbugs in cities such as New York City (ranked #1 for bedbugs) and Philadelphia (ranked #2).

Now that the bedbug stories have run their course it's time to jump on a new pest; stinkbugs. But, it's really nothing new. They aren't going away anytime soon because there is no proven pesticide. But, lo and behold there are a slew of snake oil salesmen out there who promise to help you rid of these pests. Take for instance, this entrepreneur who started up the website getridofstinkbugsnow.com who has for sale a $20 book, which provides the "secrets" to getting rid of these pests permanently. A book is nice, but why purchase a book when you can get the "real" thing? Asktheexterminator.com sells a panacea called Talstar Pro for a "special price" of $24.95 which promises to get rid of these primitive-looking invaders.

Ultimately if you live in Pennsylvania, Virginia, New York, New Jersey or anywhere in the Northeast corrider you're likely to encounter these pests especially for those of us who live in the Philadelphia-area.

Here's my permanent solution to dealing with stinkbugs and it won't cost you a dime. Grip them up with a tissue (or paper towel) and flush them down the toilet and be done with them until you find a few more. If you live in the Northeast, expect insects like them in the summer - it's a fact of life.

Contact Dennis Bakay at dbakay@philly2philly.com