The fall season is officially here, and with it comes the resurgence of the pesky brown marmorated stink bug. Originally from Asia, this invader is now found throughout most of the continental U.S. This is partially due to its lack of natural predators. Easily identified by their mottled brownish color and distinct shield shape, stink bugs get their name from the odor they release when threatened or crushed. Although stink bugs don’t pose a direct danger to humans, they are responsible for millions of dollars in agricultural losses each year.
As temperatures cool, stink bugs search for overwintering sites to shelter them from the harsh winter elements. Frequent
hiding places for stink bugs include home siding, attics and basements. Due to this pest invading homes in high numbers, keeping them out in the first place is key. Follow the below tips to prevent stink bugs from taking over your home:
- Fix damaged screens on windows and doors and inspect the outside of your home for access points. Pay close attention to areas around siding and utility pipes, behind chimneys, and underneath the wood fascia or other openings. Seal any cracks and holes using a good quality silicone or silicone-latex caulk.
- Stink bugs are attracted to lights, so it’s recommended to keep outdoor lighting to a minimum or change to yellow bulbs, which are less attractive.
- Inspect items such as boxes containing holiday decorations and grocery bags before bringing them indoors. Stink bugs can travel on these items and make themselves cozy once inside the home.
- If stink bugs get inside, use a vacuum cleaner to remove them and discard the bag quickly to prevent the odor from spreading.
- Keep in mind that homes can be pre-treated for stink bugs at the beginning of the fall season.
- If you suspect an infestation has already developed, contact a pest professional to evaluate and assess the severity of the problem.