How the cold weather is affecting bugs

(FOX19) - College of Mount St. Joseph Professor Gene Kritsky joined us this morning to talk about how to keep the bugs out of your home this season.

They might not be dangerous but they do indeed stink! Stink bugs are invading Tri-State homes looking to escape the brutal winter weather.

Kritsky says the smell is like an extremely rancid plant. They have a repugnant gland underneath which exudes the smell as a defense mechanism.

These smelly bugs were introduced in 1998 and their population has only grown larger. We're slowly seeing large groups of them moving west.

Two years ago, there were reports of people in New Jersey using snow shovels to remove them from their front porch.

Kritsky says we're even starting to see economic affects on some of the crops grown here in Ohio. They feed on a wide variety of crops including corn, soy beans and apples.

Best thing to do keep them out? Kritsky says to perform a home inspection and close any opening where they can get in.

Kritsky also says it's important to make sure your screens are in tact, your home has good caulking and your attic entrances are secure.

If they've already invaded your home, Kritsky says the best thing to do is take a small glass or container, scoop them in and throw them outside. The cold will kill them.

Don't worry though, stink bugs are not dangerous. Kritsky tells us they only bite plants.

These bugs are a big problem in West Virginia and we can expect the same issue here. Unfortunately, we're going to see an increased population over the next 2-3 years.

Stink bugs aren't the only bugs invading the Tri-State. Kritsky tells us that we will see a slight infestation of cicadas this summer.

The cicadas will emerge in Brown County, Clermont County and right across the river in Northern Kentucky.

Good news is the cicada invasion won't be as bad as it was in 2008 when you could barely hear yourself talk.

The emergence is localized so you'll probably only find half a dozen or so around park areas.

That's not all! Fleas and ticks are a constant problem for pet owners. Kritsky tells us that the cold weather doesn't even have a big impact on fleas.

Most insects freeze solid and come back to life when the warmer weather approaches. Some bugs are just here to stay!

To learn more about Dr. Gene Kritsky, visit

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