(Washington Post) This spring, you may see and smell fewer of those foul stink bug pests, and you can thank the polar vortex.

The punishing, prolonged blasts of arctic air this January proved too much for most stinkbugs to overcome according to Virginia Tech field researchers.

Each fall, Virginia Tech entomology professor Thomas Kuhar and his team gather stink bugs that congregate on the outside of buildings. The stink bugs are put into ventilated 5-gallon buckets filled with foam insulation tubes and then the buckets are stored outside for the winter, under a shelter. Each bucket contains about 100 stink bugs.

The insulated buckets simulated the overwintering locations of stink bugs. The bucket arrangements also help to keep the bugs in a dormant state of diapause while they await experiments in Kuhar’s Virginia Tech lab.

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