KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The next time you see a strange bug in your house, take a closer look before you squash it. There's a chance it may be a stink bug, a pest that's spreading across the country and has been detected in both Kansas and Missouri.
They're on your doors, windows and under the eaves of your home. The the bugs live up to their name: squash one and you'll get a horrible smell.
Officially known as "Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs," now that the weather is growing colder, they are moving indoors.
Homeowner John Gramm decided to fight back. Gramm tested an arsenal of sprays, squirt bottles, pesticides and soaps.
He said he's found a less expensive and environmentally safe solution that kills the bugs: dawn dish detergent.
"Give it a couple of squirts, squirt the bug suds him up, and he's history," Gramm said.
Gramm and a number of bloggers say it is effective, but messy.
Pest control expert Jerry Zapf of Sure Thing Pest Control revealed other ways to stop stink bugs from invading your home.
Zapf said the best way to keep stink bugs out is to caulk cracks and crevices around your home, especially around air conditioners as they are drawn to a home's heat at night.
"What they're seeking is any kind of heat being emitted from the house," Zapf said. "So you're talking all the entrances, exits, doors, windows and also all the vents."
Zapf said tight weather stripping around vents and garage doors is a must.
Although they are a nuisance to homeowners, farmers dislike them the most because they eat crops such as apples, peppers, tomatoes and soybeans.
Stink bugs unintentionally came to the United States from Asia in the 1990s. Experts say in just a few years they could be as pervasive as ladybugs, wasps and even mosquitos.
The USDA is now working on a way to eradicate the pests.