Stink Bugs: Next Biblical Bug Invasion?

stink bug
USDA photo
stink bug
Brown marmorated stink bug (USDA photo)

(CBS) Stink bugs are invading the Eastern U.S.

The shield-shaped insects don't bite, but they decimate crops and infest homes - and the brown marmorated stink bug certainly lives up to its name.

Authorities in Pennsylvania are calling the bug invasion there an epidemic.

"This is definitely the worst year for them that we've seen," Linda Hyatt, a horticulture program assistant for Penn State University's cooperative extension service told the Valley News Dispatch.

In Maryland, the bugs are eating their way through orchards.

One grower there, Bob Black, said the "little armored tanks" have cost him 20 percent of his apple crop this year, according to

And the bugs - which measure less than an inch - have also been found chomping down on corn, soybeans, and other crops in other Eastern states, according to entomologists at Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences.

What to do if your home becomes infested with the smelly critters? The entomologists advise against the use of pesticides. Instead, they recommend collecting living and dead bugs using a vacuum cleaner.

If you collect enough, they say, you might notice a bad odor coming from your vacuum cleaner.

That stinks.