An Australian TV star has revealed her fingers changed colour after her backyard was infested by a “disgusting critter”.

Deborah Knight was forced to take drastic action when a common pest took over the outdoor space of her Sydney home.

The Channel 9 journalist later shared a photo of her hands after completing the removal job, which showed her fingers had turned a worrying hue of yellow.

“Guess what disgusting critter I’ve been removing from my back garden?” she asked her 54,000 Instagram followers.

Fans of the A Current Affair presenter were quick to identify she had a stink bug problem, something Knight confirmed with a later post showing a photo of the “massacre” that had occurred in her garden.

Stink bugs are an invasive, six-legged insect that gets its name from the fact it omits an unpleasant odour when threatened.

Sydney pest expert Julian Bracewell told news.com.au that while the critters weren’t dangerous, there had been a dramatic spike in numbers due to the warm spring weather.

“Stink bugs aren’t dangerous to humans, they’re just a nuisance and hard to remove without being exposed to their foul-smelling secretions,” the director of bug removal firm Pest2Kill said.

“The odour is hard to describe but can’t be ignored. Chances are, you’re likely to smell them before you see them.”

In Knight’s case, many were shocked at how “enormous” the stink bugs were that had invaded her backyard, as others revealed they too had a similar issue with the insects.

“My husband did the same last weekend. Our lemon and orange tree were covered in the smelly things,” one stated.

“Worst time of year! I can smell them a mile away!” another declared.

As one added: “Wow! That’s a massive infestation!”

Mr Bracewell confirmed stink bugs are “a pretty seasonal pest”, explaining the spike in cases is due to unseasonably warm weather.

“They generally seem to impact people with citrus trees, however they can enter your home too,” he warned.

Social media users labelled the critter “horrible” and shared their tips for getting rid of them without using “bare hands”.

“My Dad uses an old vacuum cleaner and then dumps them into a bucket of water,” one wrote.

“BBQ tongs and a bucket of soapy water,” another agreed.

As one shared a recipe for “stink bug spray”, using 1 part dish soap, 2 parts white vinegar, 4 parts warm water that you mix in a spray bottle.

“Works a treat,” the user said.

How to get rid of stink bugs

Mr Bracewell confirmed these tips were fine to follow, stressing that if anyone was unsure of the bug invading their home, it was best to seek professional help.

“You can physically remove them using a vacuum, or by shaking them off tree branches and into a bucket of soapy water where they’ll drown,” he advised.

“You might need to take them off the branches by hand, however it’s a good idea to wear long gloves when getting rid of them so your hands don’t end up looking like Deborah’s.

“If you’re unsure, you can send a photograph to a pest control company to identify them for you.”

Read related topics:Sydney


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By Rahul

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