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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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Not as humid today, few storms this weekend

Published: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 @ 3:30 AM

Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images(Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

QUICK-LOOK FORECAST

  • Not as humid, staying dry today
  • Warmer than normal through weekend
  • Few storms this weekend

>> WHIO Live Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

DETAILED FORECAST

Today: It will be a quiet and mild morning as broken clouds continue to decrease, said Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini. There will be more sunshine through the afternoon. Highs will be right around 80, which is warmer than normal. It won’t be a muggy day.

>> LISTEN: Cloudy with a chance of Podcast: A podcast for weather fans 

Thursday: We’ll see sunshine and it will be very warm. Highs will be in the low 80s. It won’t be as muggy, and it will be dry from start to finish.

>> 5-Day Forecast

Friday: Another dry day expected with highs in the mid-80s. It will start to feel muggy again as dew points climb. We’ll see plenty of sunshine for the afternoon.

>> County-by-County Weather

Saturday: There will be sunshine with a few clouds developing in the afternoon. It looks to be a mainly dry day with highs in the mid-80s. It will be muggy again, and as we heat up, a pop-up shower or storms is possible.

Sunday: Highs will reach the low 80s with sunshine and scattered clouds. It will be muggy and very warm. Some isolated storms are possible toward the late afternoon and evening.

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When to spot International Space Station flyover in Dayton this week

Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 6:28 AM
Updated: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 @ 4:40 AM

Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini tells you where to look to see the ISS.

There will be several chances to see the International Space Station fly over Dayton this week, said Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini.

>> WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

Thursday the ISS will appear in the west/southwest sky at 9:25 p.m. It will pass by in six minutes reaching up 53 degrees above the horizon before disappearing in the northeast sky.

>> SKYWITNESS7

The space station was also visible Tuesday night and early Wednesday.

>> Mark your calendar for these 2018 meteor showers

The International Space Station will look like a bright star or plane moving across the sky except it won't flash or blink. 

The clouds should break even more by Wednesday morning so get out and take a photo.

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WPAFB Wednesday Weather: Sunny skies, lower humidity for the day

Published: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 @ 12:01 AM

WRIGHT PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE—Storms have officially moved out of the area for the time being as calmer conditions move in.

RELATED: 5-Day Forecast

Skies will be mostly sunny for the day and lower humidity is expected. 

Temperatures reach into the upper 70s. 

Pleasant conditions continue through Friday with increasing humidity. 

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WPAFB Tuesday Weather: Flash Flood Watch until 6 a.m.; possible passing shower, storm

Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 12:11 AM

WRIGHT PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE— A Flash Flood Watch is effect until 6 a.m. for the following counties: Champaign, Clark, Clinton, Greene, and Warren. 

RELATED: 5-Day Forecast

Partly sunny, warm, and muggy again with the chance for a few passing showers or storms for the day.

Severe weather threats remain low, however, areas south and east of Dayton could see strong, isolated storms with gusty winds and hail. Temperatures peak in the 80s.

RELATED: County-by-County Weather 

Wednesday will be dry and comfortable with a mix of sun and clouds. Warm temperatures in the upper 70s continue. 

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