BHUBANESWAR: Residents in and around Chandaka Sanctuary area in the city are a harried lot as stink bugs are invading their homes and the locality in unprecedented numbers.
The bugs born from flowering of ferny bamboo inside the Chandaka forest has been spreading in huge areas and made life miserable for thousands of families living in Bharatpur, Niladri Vihar, Lumbini Vihar and several slums adjacent to the boundary wall of the forest.
An expert team from the Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT) visits the areas on Saturday and suggested people to use bleaching powder to check the spread.
“I am tired of sweeping the pests as they are coming in lakhs. I tried all possible methods like poured detergent powder water, phenyl, insecticides but these bugs seems almost impossible to get rid of. They have slowly reached my kitchen and are also stinking badly,” said Sakuntala Satpathy, an elderly woman of Bharatpur area.
Sources said, these bugs are harmless but eat plants and vegetables and emit a stench when they are squeezed or killed resembling rotten garbage.
“The stink bugs have grown due to mass flowering of ferny bamboos which occur once in 35 to 40 years. The insects usually die within a couple of days but this year due to unseasonal rain and moisture in the atmosphere they got a favourable condition and grew unprecedentedly. They are now in crawling stage but will soon start flying and may become more difficult to control,” said professor of forestry in the OUAT, Niarakar Bhol.
Bhol said, they have suggested people to use bleaching powder to check the spread of the insects in their houses. “But we cannot advise to use pesticides because if other animals and birds eat those dead insects they will also die. So caution has to be maintained,” he added.
Forest officials also inspected the invasion of the stink bugs and said, this kind of pest invasion occurred for the first time in the state.
“The people have every right to protect their house from the insect invasion by application of insecticide, however, care should be taken to collect all the poisoned dead insects and burn them,” said Subhendu Mallik, honorary wildlife warden of Khordha. Forest department should sensitize the affected people about the proper disposal of the insects and its impact on environment, he pointed out.