COLUMBUS, Ohio - There's an invasion taking place in homes across Ohio.
Stink bugs seeking a warm shelter during the winter are wiggling their way into homes
The brown, shield-shaped insects called brown marmorated stink bugs are relatively new to the state, first appearing around 2007, but they aren't likely to leave anytime soon.
"Those stink bugs will probably be a yearly occurrence from now on," Ron Hammond, an entomologist with Ohio State University Extension in Wooster, told The Columbus Dispatch.
First identified in Pennsylvania in 1998, stink bugs have since been found in 33 states.
Researchers suspect they arrived in the United State in shipping containers from Asia.
The bugs don't bite or sting, but they do give off a foul odor when they are squashed. They're only about a half-inch long.
The bugs get into home through tiny cracks, holes and other openings in a home's exterior. Windows that seal poorly are a common entry point, said Dave Shetlar, another insect expert with Ohio State.
They also can enter home through open soffit and roof vents
"These aren't Houdini bugs," Shetlar told the Akron Beacon Journal. "They don't just magically appear in your house."
The insects feeds on a range of ornamental and food plants, he said. Researchers are studying the damage it can do to fruit and soybean crops.
Chris Bergh, a University of West Virginia entomologist, said research said scientists have found about a half-dozen pesticides that seem to work well at combating the pest.
Adult stink bugs emerge in June and mate and lay eggs through August.
They'll come inside when the weather turns cool.
Paige Spurbeck, who lives in the Columbus suburb of Westerville, said the bugs have overrun her deck.
"They're just nasty," Spurbeck said. "They smell, and they're everywhere. They like the patio furniture on our deck, which is really disgusting."