It’s Bug Season in Minnesota: How to Deal with Stink Bugs, Ticks & More

Brown Marmorated Stink BugIf you’ve ever spent any time in Pennsylvania you may be familiar with the stink bug. Unfortunately familiar – this little guy packs a wallop in the smelly department. They’re prolific too, each female laying up to 30 eggs a year.

Accidentally introduced into this country, Pennsylvanians have battled this pest for years, especially those that forget they’re outside pests and move into the house. It’s an epic battle too because they fly, they bite, they hide in the sofa and, worst of all, when you touch them or crush them or vacuum them they let loose with an appalling stench that smells a bit like rotten garbage.

Why am I mentioning this? Because they’re heeeeeere! The Minnesota Department of Agriculture says that they found the first marmorated stink bug in Winona County in 2011 and fear that by 2019 the entire state will be infested.

Researchers at the University of Minnesota along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture are investigating several ways to stop the spread of the crop-eating pest, including biological controls.

In the meantime, although the stink bug is active outdoors this month, they’ll be searching for a nice, warm indoor space in the fall. The experts at Penn State say that if you lay down poison the bugs will leave until it’s safe to return so they suggest you hire a professional to rid the house of stink bugs.

Ticks

As if smelly bugs aren’t enough, deer ticks are emerging from hibernation, ravenous for a tasty meal.

Minnesotans are warned to be on the lookout for ticks, especially if you spend time in wooded areas with lots of brush. 

You probably know that ticks transmit Lyme disease, but they also carry a virus that is similar to malaria. Last year, Minnesota had 1,431 cases of Lyme disease, a huge increase from 2012’s 912 cases. Don’t be a statistic, use an insect repellent for the skin, such as those that contain DEET or permethrin. Don’t forget to treat the dog, as well. Take a look at this first person account of how easily Lyme disease can be missed or misdiagnosed. 

Now that I’ve completely creeped you out — have a great weekend!

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