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B.C. may see more stink bugs than in past years, scientist suggests

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B.C.'s summer-like weather that continued into October of last year provided the perfect conditions for young stink bugs to thrive and grow into fully-developed adults — and that means the province could be seeing more of them. 

The bugs were able to survive the winter, and it’s one of the reasons people are once again beginning to see them lurking around their homes.

“There’s a possibility we’ll see more than we have in past years,” said Tracy Hueppelsheuser, entomologist with B.C.’s Ministry of Agriculture.

It's only a “possibility" at this point because scientists won’t have a better idea of how well the invasive insect is thriving until mid-spring and summer.

Stink bugs are a nuisance in the house, but Hueppelsheuser confirmed that’s all they are, because they don’t sting or bite. Ultimately, they are just resting.

They’ve earned their infamous reputation because “they smell like cilantro when you squish them, or stinky cheese, or old socks.”

The provincial government still wants the public to kill them, because they can affect plant, fruit and vegetable growth.

But remember that squashing them can cause a stink.

“I’m just saying that it could become overwhelming if you try to kill every one you see,” said Hueppelsheuser. “I’m just gonna take the pressure off you, and not ask you to kill every single one you see.”

To avoid the smell, the bugs can be picked-up with a tissue, and then put in soapy water. 

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