Summer may not be over yet, but this is the prime time to begin protecting your home against the pest insects that will try to get in this fall. One of the biggest culprits that can make for a miserable winter is the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (a.k.a., Halyomorpha halys or BMSB). Despite the fact that stink bugs are agricultural pests that plague fruit orchards and farms during summer months, they instinctively want to settle in and nest away from the cold, showing up in the fall and exiting in the winter.
What’s all the stink about?
The BMSB is an invasive species, and not just to your home. They first appeared in the U.S. in 1998 and had since flourished, invading groves and farms across the continental states. Fortunately, stink bugs only present a danger to one thing: fruit.
That’s right; you, your family, and your animals are not at risk. These bugs can’t spread any diseases to humans, although they are a vector for plant pathogens. They aren’t even known to be responsible for structural damage. So why do you need to worry about them showing up in your home?
At a little more than half an inch long and just about or under half an inch wide (think about the size of a dime), the stink bug can be startling at best. Hundreds and even thousands of them may try to winter in your home as well. The warmth inside your house is likely to make them remain active, and they may be found around lights.
Your first instinct may be to smash it, but believe us, don’t crush these pests. That will release the foul odor that gives them their name.
BMSB developed the “stink” in stink bug as a defense mechanism to ward off birds and lizards. It emits this odor (sometimes compared to coriander) through holes in its abdomen, and even simply handling the bugs can trigger odor release.
The best offense is a good defense.
The best way to avoid dealing with stink bugs in your home is to keep them from getting in, to begin with. That can be challenging since BMSB populations are very mobile. When you’ve gotten rid of one, another may migrate to the area, and you have to fight them off all over again.
Fortunately, there are a few simple tips you can use to help stink-bug-proof your home:
- Check your doors, windows, appliance and pipe fixtures for cracks or breaks in their seals. Re-caulk these as soon as possible before the end of summer.
- Fix or replace screens for doors and windows.
- Clean out and repair any chimneys or exhaust vents.
- Check your roof, walls, and siding for any other structural gaps or damage that may let insects inside.
- Check for cracks and holes in the attic — most stink bugs that get inside will enter the rest of your home from there.
- Consider strategic use of stink bug traps in the attack and basement, or outside near doors, windows, or other likely points of entry. These are available commercially and are often inexpensive.
- Utilize pesticides inside the home. Note: Be careful to follow the instructions for the selected pesticide closely and understand the potential risks in applying and using pesticides. Consider hiring professionals for indoor treatments.
- Destroy any egg masses that may be in your yard, garden, or other vegetation.
- Vacuum up any that get in your home
DC Mosquito Squad can help!
Our goal is to allow you to enjoy your home, inside and out, without the problems associated with pest insects. That means we offer outdoor treatments for more than just mosquitoes. We provide some packages that will not only prevent BMSB from entering your home but will help eliminate them come springtime.
About our stink bug services:
- We use the same EPA registered products to stop stink bugs as we use for mosquitoes.
- The products are applied differently. Rather than a barrier or misting system, we apply them to the siding and eaves of your home, as well as any other potential entry points.
- Applied in the fall, this prevents them from entering the home. Applied in spring, it helps eliminate their population, especially if any exit you're home.
- You have the option to receive one-time treatments in either spring or fall.
- You can also select a full Spring or full Fall package which includes 3 treatments for the season.
- The annual package offers 6 treatments, 3 in Spring and 3 in Fall.
Why choose the DC Mosquito Squad:
Our highly trained technicians are not only courteous; they’re licensed and insured to work in the Virginia-Maryland/D.C. area. Our services meet all state and federal guidelines, and our products are registered with the EPA. But that’s not all.
- New seasonal customers will always be treated within 3 days of signing up for service.
- Same day service may be available.
- We offer a customer portal that allows you to view the season’s treatment schedule, reschedule treatments, or request re-treatments.
- Natural options may be available.
- We offer a full range of services for other insects: aphids, ticks, ground and carpenter bees, wasps, and mosquitoes.
- To help preserve pollinating bees, technicians do not mist blossoms.