A Growing Stinky Problem

By Scott Weber
|  Sunday, Mar 27, 2011  |  Updated 8:57 AM PDT
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First there were bed bugs, then superbugs, now there's growing concern over a new pest with an ominous name.

First there were bed bugs, then superbugs, now there's growing concern over a new pest with an ominous name.

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First there were bed bugs, then superbugs, now there's growing concern over a new pest with an ominous name.

Their look is almost prehistoric -- meet the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug. They made their way to the U.S. via China a decade ago and have been in 33 states, including California in the San Gabriel Valley.

The stink bug earned its name from the foul, pungent smell it gives off when it senses danger. Some say it's like sweaty feet.

Mike Masterson, an exterminator for IsoTech Pest Management and star of the reality show, "Verminators," says he's been getting more and more calls from California residents.

"People were sending us pictures of the stink bugs literally all over their patios, on their porches, in their homes, by the hundreds and that’s when I said this is starting to be an epidemic," Masterson said.

Experts say the stink bugs are not harmful and are not known to carry diseases.

Masterson says we should expect to see them more often in warmer areas where there's agriculture and that's cause for concern. There's no specific pesticide for the bug and it has no natural predators in the U.S.

Stink bugs consume a wide variety of plant species and feed primarily on the reproductive organs of a plant such as the fruit or seed pod.

As for getting rid of them in your home, Masterson says the best way is to lure them onto a newspaper you can carry outside or suck them up into a vacuum cleaner and quickly toss the bag.

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