• Homes, businesses inundated by smelly bugs

    By: Holly Maynard


    UNION COUNTY, S.C. - Annoying, smelly and rare bugs to the Charlotte area have arrived in recent days.

    Pest control companies said they've been inundated with calls about kudzu bugs in the past week.

    Sharon Funderburk showed us the black bugs that were all over her front porch and windows of her Union County home.

    "They fly around, maybe get in your hair, and you track them into the house. It's a nuisance to us," she said.

    The bugs have come from the south. Funderburk lives near a soybean field, and that's where the problem is the worst. As the crops die in the fall, the bugs look nearby for other sources of food.

    They're not only annoying. They also leave a nasty stench when they die.

    Steve Derrick said the bugs have become a big problem at his restaurant, the Country Grill in Union County.

    "I've never seen anything like it," he said.

    Derrick showed us the bugs on the ground outside the restaurant and on his white car. The bugs are attracted to light colors.

    "If you come outside to do something, if you have a white shirt on, they stick to your white shirt," Derrick said.

    Kristin Dodd from Carolina Pest Management said the pests started arriving in the Charlotte area last year, but this year the problem is worse.

    "We're probably getting about twice as many calls this last week as we did last year at this time," Dodd said.

    She said this isn't the only bug to worry about though.

    Stink bugs, which damage fruit trees, are coming down from the north. They can also get into homes.

    Iredell County officials have already received a number of calls about the smelly bug.

    "Iredell County obviously is going to be hit first and then Mecklenburg County is going to see some and Union County as well," Dodd said.

    Dodd said the best thing you can do to prevent both kinds of bugs from getting into your home is make sure all the cracks in your windows and doors are sealed.

    In extreme cases they can spray the area, but the bugs should be gone around the first frost.

    Dodd also said if you've seen the bugs at your house this year, there's a good chance that they're going to be at your house next year at this time too.

    For more information about the kudzu bugs, click here.

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