After stink bugs invaded Amber Fletcher's apartment this past fall, she assumed they'd go away with the cold weather.

She was wrong.

The 24-year-old from West Manchester Township said she finds at least 10 of the bugs in her home each day.

In fact, checking her shoes, college textbooks and kitchen cupboards for the pests has become part of her daily routine, Fletcher said.

She said the bugs seem to take joy running along the blinds of her windows, as if they're racing one another.

About a month ago, while cleaning her apartment, she came across six stink bugs and decided to suck them up one by one with her vacuum cleaner.

"I cut one of their racing sessions short after I vacuumed my carpet in my family room. I figured it'd do the job of getting rid of them without them releasing the nasty smell," she said.

Effective: And Fletcher's method of killing the bugs by use of a vacuum cleaner is effective, said Tom Smith, West Nile virus coordinator at Penn State Cooperative Extension.

Smith said it's important not to catch a stink bug inside a home then release it back outside.

That's because they'll breed outside the home, increasing their population in the spring, he said.

Stink bugs can survive any season, Smith said.

They've reached adulthood by the winter and, unlike other bugs, the cold weather doesn't bother them, which is why they're still lingering in so many York homes.

Another method Smith said he uses to kill stink bugs is freezing them to death.


"I set aside a large empty plastic container to collect stink bugs from around my home, then I put the sealed container in the freezer," he said.

Although people can call exterminators to come to their homes and chemically remove the bugs, Smith said using the vacuum cleaner and freezer are two free methods to keep them out of a home.

- Reach Lauren Whetzel at 505-5432 or