SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- If you've started seeing those pesky stink bugs around your house, you're not alone.

It's that time of year when stink bugs sightings begin to increase, but as entomologist Bob Russell with American Pest Solution explains, they are more of a pest that a danger.

"There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding these pests. It's basically a plant pest. It doesn't bite people or feed on humans, but it does damage to food crops," Russell explained.

As the temperatures keep dropping, the possibility of seeing a stink bug in your home is on the rise.

Russell told Western Mass News that stink bugs make their way inside your home when temperatures at night drop below 40 degrees.

"This time of the year in the transitional periods, you'll see them looking for warm structures, so a home with good sun exposures, so west sun will be ideal for them to rest on when temps change," Russell said.

If your home is one that attracts the bugs, there are a few things Russell said you can do to limit their spread:

  • Do not use insect repellent. Their hard exoskeleton makes repellents less effective.
  • Try sealing any opening that they could get into you home from
  • If you do see them in your home, avoid squishing them...or you'll quickly learn how they got their name.

"They will admit the order as a defense mechanism, hence stink bug. It's not dangerous. It's just not pleasant," Russell explained.

Russell said although the insect population is slowly rising in our area, it could be a lot worse.

"Climate has a big impact on their development in the northeast because we get an extreme heat and an extreme cold. They can't operate really well in the cold. I've seen from other friends in the industry when a whole side of the house is covered in them. We just don't get that here. Maybe, we will this year, but I doubt it," Russell noted.

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