A disgusting, smelly bug has invaded Minnesota

It's literally called a "stink bug."
Publish date:

Bad news, Minnesota, there's a stink bug on the loose and there's not a whole lot you're going to be able to do about it. 

We're talking about the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, a hitchhiker from Asia that's troubled the east coast of the United States for about a decade and has plans do the same here in Minnesota. 

According to the New York Times, these stinkers release a skunk-like smell when they're smashed, or even if they feel threatened. 

Likely a statewide problem

"Chances are it will be a problem statewide if it gets to the outbreak levels like that of out east," said Angie Ambourn, a supervisor entomologist with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, in an interview with GoMN.

The invasive bugs attack crops, especially apple, grape, soybean and other vegetables grown in private gardens, according to the MDA. Whether they will attack crops in Minnesota is unknown. 

They're waking up in your house

This is sort of disturbing, but they find ways into homes for warmth in the fall, then fall asleep like a hibernating bear and start waking up....like, now.

"They are already starting to come out of their dormancy and are moving around," Ambourn said. 

"This is typically the time of year that we see an increase in calls regarding BMSB. They had moved indoors to get away from the winter and now with it warming up they are starting to get active again."

How to get rid of them

Don't smash them. The smell they emit is just awful, and you'll know it when it hits your nostrils. Ambourn recommends that you have screens on your windows, seal cracks and crevices around your home, and if you have to, vacuum them up or sweep them back outside. 

Sounds like they fit nicely down a toilet, too. 

The good news is that most reports in Minnesota thus far are for single stink bugs, not groups of them. The bad news is that they're not going away. 

"I think it is safe to say they are here to stay," said Ambourne.

Next Up