MERCER COUNTY AREA —
Tired of stink bugs?
Join the club.
“I don’t like them either,” Jan Hurlbert, owner of Hurlbert’s Hardware store in Greenville, said. “Is there anything they’re good for?”
Properly called Halyomorpha halys, the brown marmorated stink bug is the latest pest to plague the region thanks to the good folks in Asia, who last brought us the Asian ladybird beetle, which is unlike its more ladylike cousin, the common ladybug native to these parts.
Those “bugs,” which have plagued the area for about a decade, are more of a nuisance than a problem.
But the stink bug’s another creature entirely, mainly because “if you squish them, they smell,” Hurlbert said.
It’s a stench that some find barely noticeable and others find intolerable.
Stink bugs are native to Asia and were first spotted in the U.S. in 1998 in Allentown, Pa. Since then they’ve taken the northeast by storm, or more accurately by plague.
It’s unclear how they were introduced to Penn’s Woods, but they’ve made their way westward across the Alleghenys and now are a problem here.
“I don’t see how we get rid of this,” said Steve Jacobs, an insect specialist with the Penn State Cooperative Extension Office that advises farmers in the commonwealth.
“It’s a real problem for farmers, particularly orchard (growers),” Jacobs said.
They can also be a pest for everyone else, and there’s little that can be done to control them, Jacobs said.
There are insecticides on the market that will kill some of them, and folk remedies like shining a light on a bottle filled with soapy water to attract them, but there’s no kill-all way to eradicate them from the landscape.
If you’ve got an indoor stink bug problem now, you’re likely stuck with them, Jacobs said.
“At this point in time (in the season) the barn door is open,” he said. “They’re already inside the walls and in the attic.”
Trying to kill them with chemicals inside is “a waste of time, money and chemicals,” he said.
“Once they’re inside, there’s not much you can do,” he said.
They can be killed, and the carcasses can be vacuumed away, but if you do that be sure to change the vacuum cleaner bag or make sure the canister is emptied because they can survive the whirlwind of the sweeper, Hurlbert noted.
“They are annoying,” she said. “They’ll come out after you put the vacuum away.”
The carcasses also become fodder for another creepy, crawly creature: the carpet beetle, according to a fact sheet Jacobs authored.
“That’s the sticky wicket,” he said. “If they die in the walls they create another problem.”
“The best thing is to try to make the house as tight as possible,” Jacobs said, meaning that the area around windows, walls and doors is sealed so they can’t seek refuge inside.
Once inside, they can thrive, he said.
“They’ll live all winter” in an attic.
In essence the bugs live up to their name: They stink.
Annoying bugs may already have settled in for the winter
MERCER COUNTY AREA —
Tired of stink bugs?
- Local News
Interest high in housing program
The first day Mercer County Housing Authority accepted applications for the Housing Choice Voucher Program in November, 111 came in.
Civil Air Patrol official corrupted girl, police say
A Mercer County official of the Civil Air Patrol has been charged with corrupting a 15-year-old girl member of the group by offering to buy her a sexually explicit movie and telling her she has a sexually transmitted disease, Hermitage police said.
Housing authority appeals inspection score
Mercer County Housing Authorities are hoping their aspirations for high-performer status did not go up in smoke in a Dumpster fire.
No tax hike, cuts in services in 2014 budget
Sharpsville residents won’t see a tax increase or any cuts in borough services next year. Council adopted a $1.4 million budget Wednesday that raises spending by $73,000 – 5.3 percent – and leaves real estate taxes unchanged at 24.67 mills.
Ex-PTO officer pleads guilty to theft
One of the two women charged with stealing money from the Hermitage Parent-Teacher Organization has entered a guilty plea.
Turns out words key to fighting poverty too
Attacking poverty locally is an overwhelming and consistently frustrating effort that first requires everyone involved to speak the same language, which would go a long way toward solving problems for both the poverty-stricken and the bureaucrats trying to help them, according to Ron Errett, director of the Mercer County Community Action Partnership agency.
- News briefs from Dec. 11, 2013
Transportation law’s impact unknown
Although it’s clear Pennsylvania public transportation agencies will be getting more money under a recently passed law that will increase gas taxes and other vehicle-related fees, agencies are still waiting for details.
Landlords weigh in on proposal
Some landlords aren’t happy about a proposed revision of the rental inspection ordinance. But most of the eight who talked it over Monday with Sharpsville council said they can live with the plan to tighten building safety procedures in the borough.
Police decluttering won’t include Tommy gun
Some old police records are heading for the shredder to clear some storage space at Sharon Police Department.
Regional police seek 3% increase
The member communities of Southwest Mercer County Regional Police Department are being asked to increase their annual assessments by 3 percent in the department’s 2014 budget.
Official rules deaths murder, suicide
The deaths of two South Pymatuning Township men on Monday were ruled a murder-suicide, according to Mercer County Deputy Coroner John Libonati.
This time, bell has different ring
With a diamond ring too big to fit in the Salvation Army’s red kettle, Capt. Scott Flanders proposes a local jeweler buy the ring from him and help support the agency doing its best to help the less fortunate.
News briefs from Dec. 10, 2013
A roundup of stories from Sharon City Schools.
Other business from Dec. 10, 2013
Sharon City Schools
- More Local News Headlines
- Interest high in housing program