Picture this: The sun is out. You pull back your drapes and a stink bug is sitting inside your window! It’s not the view you were hoping for, but no need to panic. Stink bugs are slow, harmless, and easy to catch. But, where there’s one stink bug, there are usually more. If a stink bug is in your space, it means your home is not as perfectly sealed as it could be; a crevice somewhere is letting unwanted bugs inside.
Learn what is making your home ideal for stink bugs and how to prevent them from being your newest roommates.
Where Do Stink Bugs Live?
Stink bugs are commonly found in areas with plenty of vegetation. In rural areas, they live in orchards and farms. In denser communities, stink bugs reside in wooded parks and gardens. No matter where you live, if you have a garden, it’s the perfect place for a stink bug to thrive!
In areas where plants die off each winter, some stink bugs make their way to more sheltered areas (such as your home!) for protection from the cold. Others go into diapause, which is like hibernation, after they’ve burrowed into logs or leaf litter.
What Do Stink Bugs Eat?
Stink bugs are not picky eaters and will feed on leaves, stems, fruit, crops, and other small bugs, such as caterpillars. This makes it easy for them to survive in various climates and conditions, as long as they can take shelter under shaded shrubs or thickets of weeds where they can live and eat in peace.
But what do stink bugs eat when they’re in your house? Usually, they don’t eat anything because they have just awakened from diapause (during which they don’t eat) or because they are looking for a good spot to overwinter. However, they may eat houseplants, which you can learn more about below.
Where Do Stink Bugs Live in Your House?
Stink bugs can get into a home through small cracks and holes. They may seek refuge under siding, in foundation cracks, inside walls, or in other quiet and confined spaces. If their refuge is cold, they will overwinter there peacefully. But if it happens to be inside your home, the stink bugs will remain active for a while, confused by the warm temperatures. They eventually hide in a dark spot, such as behind drapes.
Once the weather begins to warm, stink bugs that have been in diapause will become active again. This is another time of year when they are more likely to be in your living space, as they get lost while trying to go back outside and find food.
Regardless of the weather, climate, or season, stink bugs will make their way into homes. That’s why homeowners can benefit from closing off stink bug entry points, even in areas where the weather is warm all year.
How to Keep Stink Bugs Out of Your House
The best way to avoid stink bugs in your home is to seal off their tiny entrances. Protect your home from stink bugs by:
- caulking cracks in doors and windows
- screening vents in crawl spaces and attics
- adding weather strips to exterior doors
- replacing torn screen on doors and windows
- getting routine barrier spray treatments around your house
Be aware that the smell of a stink bug can attract more stink bugs. Their scent can be released when they are squished or startled, so make sure you remove these pests with caution. Gently pick up a stink bug with a paper towel and place it outside. Some may choose to flush the bug or remove it with a vacuum cleaner. If you dispose of a stink bug in the trash, be sure to quickly take it out to the curb, in case the bug is still alive and/or emanating a scent.
Luckily, stink bugs are slow-moving, so you shouldn’t have to capture them with a sneak attack.
Are Stink Bugs Bad to Have Inside?
While stink bugs don’t pose a danger to your home or your family, they can be an annoyance that multiplies. Their scent excretions are sticky and unsavory. If stink bugs find your indoor plants, they might feed and lay new eggs on them, depending on the time of year. If you notice scabs popping up on your houseplants, be sure to check underneath the leaves for stink bug eggs and wipe them off.
Don’t Let Unwanted Bugs Enter Your Home
Stink bugs are not the perfect houseguest. Whether you have a stink bug infestation or want to prevent one, check your home for cracks in the foundation, ripped window screens, or other probable entry points. Then be extra prepared by having Mosquito Squad’s outdoor pest control experts protect your yard from bugs that commonly break into houses. Contact us today for a free quote or call the squad at (877) 332-2239.