Bug Blog

Large Scale Insect Invasion!

Numerous Residents Of One American Town Are Expressing Their Terror Over A Smelly Bug Invasion On Social Media Sites

A large scale insect invasion may seem like a cliched B horror movie plot. While there may exist many movies involving oversized insects eating helpless pedestrians in populated cities, insect invasions in urban areas are not uncommon. Luckily, when city residents find themselves bombarded with massive amounts of insects within their homes, the invading insects are usually harmless. Although invading insects may rarely be dangerous to humans, they can, nevertheless, be quite unpleasant. For example, residents of one Massachusetts town are currently being pestered by invading insects that seem to leave a foul odor in every location they visit.

For the past several days, residents of Franklin have been posting comments to Facebook and other social media sites that describe what many of them are assuming to be an invasion of stink bugs. While the invading insects are, indeed, well known for the rank odors that they emit, they are not stink bugs: instead the insect invaders are western conifer seed bugs, or Leptoglossus occidentalis, as they are officially known. These insects are often mistaken for stink bugs, as they are closely related. Much like stink bugs, WCS bugs are often found within people’s homes during the fall season. These insects develop large populations as they overwinter as adults and sneak into homes before the winter season sets in. Stink bugs, lady bugs, and box elder bugs also sneak into people’s homes at this time of year, but unlike these bugs, WCS bugs scare people easily due to their bizarre appearance. According to Kaitlyn O’Donnell, an entomologist with Norfolk County Mosquito Control, while WCS bugs may look strange, they are completely harmless to humans. In fact, WCS bugs are not pests to structures or plant life and they do not even bite people or animals. Additionally, these bugs are only considered a minor nuisance, and they do not spread disease. Despite this, WCS bugs are only native to the west coast, and not the upper east coast, which is why their populations are becoming so numerous. Stepping on a WCS bug may be a bad idea, as doing so could prompt them to emit their foul odor, but getting rid of them via vacuum seems to be working for many Franklin residents.

Have you ever sensed a foul smell that was produced by an insect?