Polar Vortex May Mean Fewer Stink Bugs

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – If there’s some good news coming out of this brutally cold winter, it’s that we could be seeing less stink bugs.

Virginia Tech field researchers say that the prolonged blasts of arctic air this January actually may have killed up to 95-percent of the bugs in their experiments.

The information was first reported in the Washington Post.

In their experiments, each year Virginia Tech researchers gather stink bugs and store them in insulated buckets to simulate the wintering locations of the bugs.

When the researchers checked on the bugs, they found that 95% of them had been killed by polar vortex temperatures.

Researchers say the stink bugs had survived lab tests where the temperature was -4, but some temperatures around the Pittsburgh area were down to -12 or lower.

“Cold will kill anything if it’s cold enough – even stink bugs,” says Bob Androw, Carnegie Museum’s pest specialist.

According to researchers, it’s still too early to tell if the polar vortex permanently reduced the number of stink bugs, but the initial tests are looking good.

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