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The stink bugs are coming! How to keep these pests out of your house

With a cooldown coming this weekend, stink bugs are about to become an even bigger problem in the Carolinas.
Credit: Adobe Stock Images

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Editor's Note: The attached video originally aired Oct. 1, 2019. 

It's that time of year when the ladybugs and stink bugs swarm the sunny side of your home across the Carolinas. 

As temperatures drop, usually after the first frost or freeze, or when we get cool nights in the 40s, ladybugs, or as they are sometimes called, Asian Beetles, begin to try to hide from the cold. 

This time of year they will seek out the sunny side of any building for warmth. That's typically the south side of your home. These bugs will find tiny cracks, even in the most sealed-up houses and usually end up around your windows. Now, they may seem like pests when they're inside, but they're actually a deterrent to smaller pests in your garden. 

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If you grow tomatoes, ladybugs are a blessing, because they keep aphids away from your plants by eating the smaller pests when it's warm outside. 

Now when they do get into your house, they run out of aphids to eat, so they could bite you. It's not that bad, thankfully. To eliminate these pets, grab a vacuum and suck them up. 

Before long, they're all gone and winter will set in. Ladybug swarms are just part of the changing seasons in the Southeast. 

Here are some great tips on how to deal with the swarms in the fall.

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Stink bugs are out, too

It's not just ladybugs. Stink bugs and even kudzu bugs behave similarly. Once the nights get cold, they will try to find a way to stay warm on the southern or sunny side of your home. 

Be on the lookout for them when warm, sunny days turn back to chilly nights in the fall. 

Do not spray repellent pesticides

Many products commonly sold at hardware and home stores may kill bugs with direct contact.

The vacuum is your best tool

Use a vacuum to suck up any pests you see. Since stink bugs can actually "stink" it is best to use a Shop-Vac, not your household vacuum.

Caulk & seal in late spring/early summer

Stink bugs, ladybugs and kudzu bugs gain access to buildings through structural cracks and gaps, including spaces around window frames and doors. And make sure you inspect your attic, ceiling and crawl spaces annually. 

Contact Brad Panovich at bpanovich@wcnc.com or follow him on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.