Last weekend, I was watching a movie with my husband when I heard a loud buzzing, one that I’ve become all too familiar with the last few years: the stink bug. Just like falling leaves and cooler temperatures, seeing stink bugs inside is another sign that fall is coming.
Stink bugs, or brown marmorated stink bugs, have been active pests in the United States since they were first noticed in Pennsylvania sixteen years ago. Three or four years ago their population boomed, wreaking havoc on some crops they were hungry for.
The stink bug population has grown considerably in the U.S. because it doesn’t have a natural predator here that helps to control the growing numbers. Its largest predator in China, a type of wasp, isn’t currently present in the U.S., but is going through testing to see if it is a viable option for future control.
As the weather turns cooler, and fall crops begin to be harvested, stink bugs start to get sneaky! They can find their way into homes using the smallest of openings. If you live in an area where stink bugs are active, you’ll want to double check that there aren’t openings around your door frame or holes in your screens to ensure they don’t make their way into your home. They will find the smallest of holes! A recent study that we covered in a previous blog pointed out that stink bugs are more attracted to brown and green properties more than light-colored homes.
If stink bugs make it inside your home, you want to make sure you handle it correctly or they will use their defenses. Their main defense you may be able to tell from their name. They stink. They emit an odor when they are threatened. You never want to handle a stink bug with your hand for instance, instead:
- Use a vacuum to suck up and remove the stink bug. A bag vacuum works better.
- Using a tissue, pick up the bug and flush it down the toilet. Stink bugs are surprisingly slow moving when they aren’t flying.
There are stink bug treatments available that are applied to the outside of the home that will greatly reduce your pest populations. Call your local Mosquito Squad office to see if they can help you in the battle of the stink bugs.