Bed bug invasion is activated. If you notice more of the smelly plagues with the shape of the shield crawling around your house, it is not your imagination.
They are particularly bad this year, and the long period of summer weather is likely to be the culprit, according to George Hamilton, pest management specialist and chairman of the entomology department at Rutgers University.
"The general opinion is that we are seeing higher levels of adults than we have seen in recent years," said Hamilton.
Because the east coast experienced very hot and dry temperatures at the end of the summer, Hamilton said the bed bugs may have had time to breed an additional generation before going into hibernation.
To make matters worse, the big drop in temperatures this week could cause them to seek refuge in homes and businesses. And once they do, they attract other bedbugs.
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"This fall, due to the dry and hot weather of late summer we experience, people can expect that the number of adults with stinky marmoset bugs that migrate and enter the structures to spend the winter will be greater than those experienced in recent years "said Hamilton. .
The good news is that they are quite harmless, although certainly creepy and definitely stinky.
Here is information about bed bugs and what you can do to get rid of them and enjoy the beginning of autumn again.
What are bed bugs?
The marmored stinky brown insect is a hard shell flying insect that normally does not grow more than .75 inches long. They are best known for emitting a horrible smell when they feel threatened or crushed.
Some people think that bed bugs smell like coriander or skunk. Once they find a place to hibernate during the winter, bed bugs let out a different smell that tells other bed bugs to join them in their hiding place.
When will I see more stinky bugs?
Rodents and insects seek heat once temperatures begin to drop. As a result, you are more likely to see bed bugs inside your home or work area in the fall.
But not all fall seasons are the same. The amount of bed bugs you see may fluctuate from year to year depending on the weather. Residents of a nearby state can see much more or less than you in the same year.
Stink bugs tend to gravitate toward humid and temperate climates similar to those on the Jersey coast.
Hamilton said he is seeing more stinky adult bed bugs on New Jersey farms this fall than in recent years.
Populations vary every year, but Hamilton compared this year's number with 2010, the last time large populations were seen on the east coast, he said.
Are bed bugs harmful?
Stinky insects do not bite or bite and have few natural predators. They are not poisonous to pets, but if yours eats one, they can vomit or drool excessively due to the secretions that carry bed bugs.
Insects can cause significant financial damage to farmers. Bed bugs love to eat fruit, which then rots inside out.
Where do bed bugs come from?
Stinky insects did not appear in the United States until the late 1990s in Allentown, Pennsylvania. It is believed that they came in shipping boxes from China or Japan. They are more frequent in the eastern part of America.
How do stinky insects get inside my house?
Like other small creatures, stinky insects can use openings around weatherstrips, windows, cladding, utility connections, in soffits, fireplaces or in loose mortars to crawl inside.
Hamilton said that houses in forested areas may be especially susceptible to infestations.
Check the outside of your house and use caulking to seal the cracks. The light attracts bed bugs, so it is recommended to keep the blinds down and the exterior lights turned off at night.
"You can't get them all, but it will help," said Hamilton.
What do I do if they are already inside?
Believe it or not, you can vacuum the pests and throw away the vacuum bag. Stink bugs can also drown in a toilet or soapy water. But if you prefer something more human, use a plastic bag to return insects outside.
Hamilton highly warns against the use of insecticides because some are toxic or violate federal law. If you choose to go that route, be sure to read the label carefully and do not spray it everywhere, he said.
The positive side is that stinky insects do not reproduce inside your home. Once they are there, they enter a state of hibernation and cannot reproduce again until spring.
Writer Allison Pries contributed to this report.
Jenna Wise can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @JennaRWise. Find NJ.com on Facebook. Do you have a tip? Tell us. nj.com/tips.
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