DETROIT – A little bug is causing a big stink around Metro Detroit and the state of Michigan.
"I suspect they're going to be a problem for a long time to come," and Mark Vanderwerp, manager of education and training at Rose Pest Solutions.
An invasive species of stink bug is targeting homes. For the better part of a week, ClickOnDetroit.com's story about stink bugs has prompted viewers from across Metro Detroit to report seeing the bugs at their home.
They're a real problem right now, and a lot of people have asked how to get rid of them and whether they can damage a home.
The stink bugs are a nuisance as they try to make their way into your homes, and experts are helping you get rid of the annoying bugs once and for all.
Vanderwerp said the species is called the "brown marmorated stink bug."
The stink bug actually stinks if you squish it, and Vanderwerp said Rose Pest Solutions is getting calls left and right about them.
"Most people care about these creatures once they breech the wall and get inside," Vanderwerp said. "Outside is where they live, where they breed, where they feed."
The bugs are heading inside to look for a place to ride out the winter. Vanderwerp said they search for gaps around homes to get inside, and pointed out some trouble spots to fix on his own home.
"This hose spigot is a good example," he said. "It's a little loose, and there are gaps here."
Check around your outdoor faucets and where utilities enter your home. The seals around windows and doors, settling cracks in bricked areas and siding are also areas to check out.
"VInyl siding creates all these little penetration points for insects as well," Vanderwerp said. "You can try to exclude these by putting a mesh or sealing on it. Some commercial products like an end cap and seal right into there, or you can do a do it yourself and stuff a Brillo pad in there."
Sealing up those areas will keep the bugs out, Vanderwerp said.
"They just need a little crevice to tuck under to stay nice and cozy for the wintertime," he said.
Vanderwerp said the stink bugs often stay inside wall voids, and homeowners never know they're there.
They don't cause damage, harm pets or carry diseases.
"For most people, it's a comfort issue," Vanderwerp said. "Maybe if they see one or two bugs they are OK with that. If they start exceeding that threshold, they say, 'OK, I've got to do something about this.'"
He said spraying outside before the stink bugs can get in is the best solution, and now is the time.
"If you do a treatment on the outside structure at the fall time, when you first start seeing them, you can knock a lot of them down before they even get in," Vanderwerp said.
There are also other do-it-yourself options to deal with the problem in your home. You can use stick paper and put it under a light. If you don't have the paper, fill up a pan with soap and water and put it under a light. Bugs are attracted to it, and it can help eliminate the problem.
You can also use your vacuum or sweep them out of your home.
You can watch Hank Winchester's full story in the video posted above.