Now that fall has arrived, prepare for the stink bug onslaught

Published: Monday, September 25, 2017 @ 12:58 PM

The Stink Bug Invasion Is On

Fall has officially arrived, although it certainly doesn’t feel like it. But there are a few things you can count on during this season. The cooler weather will come, snow will be in the forecast sooner than we may like and the dreaded brown marmorated stink bugs will soon be making an all-out assault to get into our homes.

»WEATHER: Get the latest Storm Center 7 forecast

The cooler weather and the stink bugs go hand in hand.

Stink bugs took up residence in Ohio over the last 15 years, but really became a nuisance in the last five years. The brown marmorated stink bug was first released into the United States in Allentown, Pa in 1996, according to Penn State University. The bug apparently traveled from northeast Asia in a shipping container that was delivered either to the port of Philadelphia or Elizabeth, N.J. and then trucked to Allentown.

This insect has now spread to 44 states and has very large populations in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Delaware, Ohio, and North and South Carolina, according to stopbmsb.org. It has also spread to California and Oregon allegedly via a car driven by a person traveling from Pennsylvania to California in 2005.

»MORE: Record-breaking storms strike over two-week period

According to researchers at Penn State University, this type stink bug emerges in mid to late spring. As temperatures cool, they begin to swarm near windows, doors and other cracks of buildings seeking refuge from the coming winter. Once inside, the stink bugs enter a physiologically inactive, diapause state or state of suspended development. They emerge from this hibernation over a broad range of time which explains why we see active adult stink bugs throughout the winter and early spring. A mass emergence from diapause occurs as daily temperatures and length of daylight increase especially in mid to late May.

The ability of these stink bugs to survive is quite remarkable. While there is some mortality among the hibernating bugs in the winter, a significant percentage of them make it through to spring and then mate. Colder temperatures in northern states typically reduce the bugs survival rate, but that appears to be changing.

Increasing temperatures linked to climate change are likely a cause for such an increase in stink bug populations, especially in middle and northern latitudes. While excessive heat may drive stink bugs out of hotter, southern states, the warm but moderate temperatures at higher latitudinal locations have increased the survival of stink bugs with significantly larger spring and summer populations. With less severe winters and moderate, warm summers, these annoying bugs appear to have found a perfect “retirement” location here in the Ohio Valley.

The good news is, other than being incredibly annoying and having a pungent smell, stink bugs are pretty harmless to humans and animals. They cannot bite or sting nor seem to carry any known diseases. To get rid of them, it is recommended to flush them or vacuum them, then throw out the vacuum bag to avoid the bugs odor.

Using vacuum bags and water to get rid of these bugs could become costly. So, it is best to prevent invasions by making sure you seal up your home now. Replace old screens and make sure doors and windows close tightly. Also caulk any gaps, cracks or holes in your homes exterior, especially on the south and west sides. These bugs can squeeze themselves quite a bit, so they can fit through even small cracks.

Unfortunately, these insects are quite destructive to agriculture. This species feeds on over one hundred different types of plants including several of great economic importance to humans. Fruit trees (especially apple and pear), soybeans, and peanuts are significantly damaged by these insects. The bugs have also been found feeding on blackberry, sweet and field corn and have been known to cause damage to tomatoes, lima beans and green peppers.

There is no way to kill them by spraying, at least not once they are on the plant, because they must be hit directly. The bugs can fly off the leaves and they aren’t harmed by eating the chemicals on the leaves or on the fruit. However, researches at Penn State did find that while there are very few controlling natural predators, it appears other local predators such as spiders and some birds may be becoming more immune against the bug’s protective secretions and increasingly aware of the growing stink bug feast around them.

Eric Elwell is WHIO StormCenter 7 Chief Meteorologist. Contact him at eric.elwell@coxinc.com or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

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Drizzle, fog tonight; Flood watch in effect

Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 4:04 AM
Updated: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 11:50 PM

Rain showers continue at times today in the Dayton area, and into parts of the weekend.

A Flood Watch is in effect for Montgomery, Preble, Clark, Greene, Butler, Warren  and Clinton counties until Sunday morning.

>> Weekend to bring more rain, threat for strong storms

QUICK-LOOK FORECAST

  • Areas of drizzle, fog tonight
  • Rain increasing in coverage, intensity Saturday
  • Additional 1-3 inches of rain possible through Sunday morning

>> WHIO Live Doppler 7 HD Interactive Radar

DETAILED FORECAST

Overnight: Mostly cloudy skies will linger through the night with areas of fog, light rain and drizzle possible. Steadier showers will develop overnight around 3 a.m. Temperatures drop tonight through the 50s to a low in the lower 40s. 

>> County-by-County Weather

Saturday: Rain likely and could be heavy at times. Thunderstorms also will be possible during the day. Flooding will be possible with rainfall amounts of 1 to 3 inches through Saturday night. High temperatures will be in the middle 50s. 

>> Flooding: Know your risks

>> Great Miami R. expected to crest this weekend: Where will flooding occur?

Sunday: Rain early in the day, then breaks in the clouds later. Flooding will still be possible as rivers and streams continue to rise. Highs will be in the lower 50s and it will be windy at times. 

Monday: It will be a nice start to the workweek. There will be sunshine for the afternoon with temperatures above normal in the low 50s.

>> WHIO Weather App

Tuesday: Expect mostly sunny skies will mild temperatures in the middle 50s.

Wednesday: Showers are expected to return with highs topping out near 60 degrees. 

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Weekend to bring more rain, threat for strong storms

Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 7:53 PM

Heavy rain is expected to return to the Miami Valley Saturday morning and then again in the evening. Additional rain over the weekend is expected to range from 1 to 3 inches. The Storm Prediction Center has also placed parts of the Miami Valley under a "marginal risk" for severe storms.

While much of the area is getting a break from steady rain Friday night, another wave will arrive toward daybreak.

Storm Center 7 meteorologists have been tracking multiple rounds of rain since Wednesday with several more to go. Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell said the heaviest rain will arrive late Saturday.

>> Great Miami River expected to crest this weekend: Where will flooding occur?

“We’ll likely see steady rain pick up Saturday morning with a break in the rain starting around midday,” Elwell said. “But heavy rain and the chance for thunderstorms will move back in around dark Saturday.” 

>> Flooding: Know your risks

The Storm Prediction Center indicates there is a chance for a few stronger storms Saturday evening and they have placed the southern Miami Valley under a “marginal risk” for severe storms. While the risk is low, Elwell said one or two storms could produce strong enough winds to cause minor damage.

>> WHIO Weather App

A Flood Watch also remains in effect until 10 a.m. Sunday for counties along and south of Interstate 70 in the Miami Valley.

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RAIN TOTALS: Flooding risk remains high through the weekend

Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 9:25 AM

Consistent rainfall that fell Wednesday into Thursday dropped around 0.25-inches to 1.5-inches of rain across the area, according to Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini. 

RELATED: Widespread rain expected for the weekend

RELATED: Great Miami River expected to crest this weekend: Where will flooding occur? 

With more rain expected Saturday and Sunday, the threat for flooding stays high through the weekend. 

>>Track the latest conditions with Live Doppler 7 Radar

Here is how much rain fell in parts of the region over the last 24 hours as of 8 a.m. Friday: 

RELATED: Flooding: Know your risks

BUTLER: 

Butler County Airport: 0.42-inches

Hamilton: 0.26-inches

Middletown: 0.36-inches

Oxford: 0.25-inches

CHAMPAIGN: 

Urbana: 0.31-inches

CLARK: 

Springfield: 0.35-inches

CLINTON: 

Wilmington: 0.55-inches

GREENE: 

WPAFB: 0.33-inches

Beavercreek: 0.30-inches

Fairborn: 0.25-inches

RELATED: VIDEO: Ohio River is rising, prompting flood warnings

HAMILTON: 

Norwood: 1.20-inches

Cincinnati: 1.28-inches

MONTGOMERY: 

Vandalia: 0.44-inches

Dayton International Airport: 0.42-inches

Oakwood: 0.33-inches

Riverside: 0.28-inches

Kettering: 0.27-inches

PREBLE: 

Eaton: 0.50-inches

SHELBY: 

Botkins: 0.25-inches

WARREN: 

South Lebanon: 1.14-inches

Mason: 0.54-inches

Lebanon: 0.27-inches



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WPAFB Friday Weather: Flood watch through Sunday; rain to continue 

Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 12:02 AM

WRIGHT PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE—A Flood Watch remains in effect through Sunday with waves of rain expected to move through, according to Storm Center 7 Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell.

RELATED: Rain totals: soggy mid-week, more rain coming

The rain may be heavy at times, especially this morning. Temperatures will be mild despite the rain, rising to near 60 degrees. 

Showers will taper off briefly in the evening before redeveloping late tonight through Saturday. The rain may get heavy again Saturday evening. Rainfall amounts will range from 2 to 4 inches through Saturday night.

RELATED: 5-Day Forecast

The rain will taper off early Sunday with clearing skies and slightly cooler temperatures, generally in the lower 50s to end the weekend.

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