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Those fanciful thoughts that perhaps the brutal winter, heavy snows and record cold might have killed off those unsightly, smelly stink bugs?

Dream on.

According to an official with the U.S. Agriculture Department, stink bugs lived through the super-cold and snowy winter by making their own anti-freeze,

We are not seeing any difference in the mortality rates because of the cold, said Tracy Leskey, the department's research entomologist in charge of the project. We haven't seen any effect so far, she added.

Leskey told the Examiner that the bug has potential to show up anywhere, but might not be able to survive if there isn't food to eat, such as fruits and grains, and humid conditions.

The bug can be transported, but when it arrives at a new location you need the host plants and favorable weather, said Leskey, who calls herself a bug wrangler.

Typically, half of the stink bug population dies every winter, regardless of the weather. And that s exactly what happened this winter.

They have now expanded into 41 states, with Hawaii and Arkansas being the most recent additions to the U.S.

The bugs, which hitched a ride from China to Pennsylvania over a decade ago, have since shown up in France, Italy and Switzerland.

So have you encountered any stink bugs so far this spring?

Tell us.


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